Sports related knee injuries can occur due to many reasons. Lack of adequate warm-up, poor body conditioning, and improper training are some of the common reasons that can cause knee injuries. Recovery from a knee injury can take weeks and even months. At times, a minor injury can heal on its own with adequate rest. But often, a proper rehabilitation plan is necessary to speed up recovery from severe knee injuries.
Many knee injuries require surgeries or long-term medical treatment. Minor injuries such as a sprain or a muscle tear may require medical attention and treatment to prevent complications and speed up recovery from resulting swelling and pain.
Here are some tips to recover from serious sports related knee injuries.
The ‘RICE’ method is a well-known measure to heal and recover from injuries.
Adequate rest is important to heal from any injury. When ligaments, tendons, and muscles sustain injuries; the healing cannot take place without proper rest. If the injury is sports-related, it is necessary to take a break from the activity until the affected area is free from any pain and discomfort.
Cold therapy using ice is an effective remedy to heal pain and swelling from injuries. Cold reduces swelling by restricting heat and blood flow to the affected area.
You can use ice bags over the injured area. But use of ice bags is messy and not very effective in transferring cold to the affected area. A better way to administer cold therapy is through cold therapy machines. But if you want to use an ice machine for knee, you need one that can optimally transfer the cold on the injury.
Cold therapy units that utilize new technologies to provide optimal temperature controls are best for orthopedic injuries. When using cold therapy to heal from sports-related injuries, it is important to use a machine that can deliver a comfortable temperature consistently. Without consistent temperature control and optimal skin contact; the healing is not as efficient. You can use cold therapy for 15 to 30 minutes at a time or as instructed by your doctor.
Use of cold therapy can speed up healing to quite an extent; requiring you to use less pain medications.
Compression can reduce swelling and provide relief from pain. One of the simplest ways to use compression on an injured area is to use an elasticized bandage. Ensure that the bandage is from a reputed brand and wrap it properly around the knee.
Elevation can help prevent or minimize swelling on the affected area. In case of knee injuries, you can prop up your legs on pillows to find some relief. For best results, the elevation must be above your heart level while in a sleeping position.
When dealing with an orthopedic injury, it is important to keep certain important points in mind.
- Whether the injury is minor or major, it is important to see a doctor to understand the extent of the problem and determine the right course of recovery. If a minor sprain doesn’t heal properly, it can cause problems in the future. Such a problem is especially true in terms of knee injuries. If the tendons, ligaments, or the bones in the knees are injured; lack of proper recovery can even cause the pain to manifest at a later date in the future.
- If you want to use ice over injuries involving cuts and abrasions; ensure that no water enters the skin. If water seeps into the wounds, infection can occur in the injured site. One way to remedy this is to use cold therapy machines over the injuries. Cold therapy units are compact machines that offer ease of use. If you want to an ice machine for knee injuries, ensure that it is from a reputed brand only such as the ones available from IsoComforter.
- In case you don’t find relief from pain with your current treatment, it is important to inform your doctor about it. Any delay in dealing with sports or orthopedic injuries can lead to complications.
If you have used ‘RICE’ therapy for 48 hours, attempt to move the knee after removing the bandage. If you don’t see any improvement, see your doctor.