Sustaining an injury is never fun. As any athlete can tell you, though, that is the risk of playing sports. Injuring ankles, fingers, muscles, shoulders, and knees are unfortunately very common in the world of active and competitive sports.
Considered one of the worst of these is when an athlete sustains a knee injury. If not treated properly, a knee injury can develop into a problem the inflicts lasting pain, significant weakness, and could even require surgery. If you have suffered a knee injury, don’t panic. The good news is that there are several treatments available to help you in your recovery process.
Assess the Damage
If you have sustained a knee injury, the first thing you should do is to have it checked out for torn cartilage and to make sure your tendons and ligaments are ok. Your doctor will be able to help you understand what physical therapy can be done without overworking your knee and making it worse, and he or she will be able to assess if further treatment is needed.
Stretching and Physical Therapy
Once you have sustained a knee injury, you are going to have to do some training to get it back into perfect working order. Stretching with poses like squats and leg raises are great ways of increasing flexibility back into your legs and knees. Just be sure not to overdo it. There are several other stretching poses that you can do depending on which part of your knee has been injured. Be sure to check with a professional before doing anything too strenuous.
Ice and Elevation
If your knee injury has caused swelling around the joint, you are going to want to take care of that immediately. To do this, grab a plastic bag (a grocery bag or thin trash bag will work), fill it with ice, and strap it on your knee for 20 minutes. Then remove, let your leg rest for 30 minutes, and go for it again.
For the best results in getting the swelling to go down, be sure to elevate your leg to where the swelling is higher than your heart. This will force the blood away from the injury, thus causing the swelling to go down. Another trick is to poke a hole in the bag to remove excess oxygen. This will make the bag much colder on the injured knee and will help reduce the swelling even more.