Running Woes: How to Recover from a Sprained Knee and More

Maybe you stepped on a sewer grate while running? Perhaps you came down on someone else’s foot while playing basketball? Whatever the case may be, you’re dealing with a sprained knee.

Now, you’re doing everything in your power to return to full strength. The only problem is, you’re not sure of what it takes to recover from a knee sprain.

That’s where this article comes in. Below, we’re not only going to tell you how to recover from a sprained knee, but we’re also going to provide you with a wealth of other relevant information. Let’s go!

What Is a Sprained Knee?

“Sprained knee” is the term used to describe the overstretching or tear of ligaments which connect the thigh and shin bones. A painful condition, it comes in many severities. When severe, it can lead to long-term health issues, and arthritis, in particular.

There are four ligaments in the knee, all of which can be overstretched or torn. These include the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the lateral collateral ligament, and the medial collateral ligament.

Common Symptoms of a Sprained Knee

There are several symptoms of a sprained knee. The most prominent of these symptoms include the following.

Stiffness

One of the most common symptoms of a knee strain is stiffness. If you have trouble straightening or bending at your knee, there’s a fairly good chance that you’ve strained it.

Swelling

While it’s not always present with a strained knee, swelling is fairly common. Of course, swelling could be indicative of a number of other problems as well, so you have to think critically.

If the swelling is mild, a sprained knee should be assumed. On the other hand, if the swelling is severe, you could be experiencing a full ligament tear.

Weakness

Another sign of a knee sprain is general weakness. If you have trouble placing weight on your knee, there’s a good chance that it’s sprained. Again, however, there could also be more severe problems present.

Bruising

In some cases, a sprained knee will be accompanied by bruising. However, if the bruising is extreme, you’re likely dealing with a more serious issue than a sprained knee. A trip to the doctor would be warranted.

Pain

The most common of sprained knee symptoms is pain. When you sprain your knee, you will experience physical discomfort, usually on the mild to moderate part of the spectrum.

How to Recover from a Sprained Knee

Recovering from a sprained knee isn’t always easy. However, with a lot of hard work and dedication, full recovery is likely. The components of recovery include the following.

Diagnosis

In most cases, when you have a sprained knee, you’re advised to schedule a doctor’s appointment so that you can receive a formal diagnosis. During your appointment, your doctor will test your knee in a number of ways, comparing it against your uninjured knee. Not only will your doctor carry out physical tests, but x-rays and other imaging tests as well.

He or she will also try to get a feel for the nature of your injury, inquiring as to what you were doing when you were injured and how severe the pain associated with your injury is.

Then, your doctor will rate the severity of your injury, giving it a 1, 2, or 3 rating. While a 1 rating indicates an overstretched ligament, a 2 indicates a partially torn ligament, and a 3 indicates a fully torn ligament.

Pain Relief

Regardless of the severity of your injury, you will be advised to institute some pain relief measures. These will help to stave off discomfort while your knee heals, allowing you to live a fairly productive life.

In many cases of a sprained knee, doctors will prescribe over-the-counter pain medication. However, this isn’t a certainty. If you’re not prescribed medication, you’re advised to take something such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.

Other pain relief measures include applying ice and heat to the affected area. You might also consider wearing a compression band over the sprained knee.

Rest

One of the most vital parts of recovery will be rest. You need to keep activity to a minimum, as you need to remove as much stress from your knee as possible.

Sit or lay down when you can, and, when sleeping, consider raising the affected knee slightly. Raising your knee will help to reduce swelling, allowing it to heal and curbing some of the pain.

In some cases, patients will be advised to wear braces such as the ones found on this website. Braces prevent the ligaments from stretching too far, allowing them to heal.

Exercise

To return your knee to its optimal state, you might have to engage in some specific exercises. These exercises will strengthen not only the muscles around the knee but the ligaments around the knee as well.

Common exercises for sprained knee recovery include but aren’t limited to leg lifts, calf stretches, thigh stretches, hamstring curls, and knee bends. To spur on recovery, you’ll have to perform these exercises on a regular basis.

Surgery

In cases of a severe sprain, surgery will be required. However, this is only necessary when the ligament is torn.

During the procedure, small holes will be drilled into the bones around the knee. Then, the surgeon will take the severed ligaments and reattach them. In some cases, grafts will be needed.

If you do undergo surgery, you will be out of commission for a few months. While you may be able to work, you won’t be able to engage in physical activity.

On the Search for More Health Tips?

Now that you know how to nurse that sprained knee, you might be searching for more health tips. If so, you’re in the right place. We have you covered.

Our site contains info on everything from fitness to health to dieting to medication and more. Browse some more of our articles now!

Physio for Nerve Pain and Injury

Nerve Pain and Injury

Nerve pain is a broad term for a variety of conditions causing symptoms such as pins and needles, burning, electric shocks, weakness or numbness. These conditions can affect the legs, arms or face.

Pinched Nerve

A ‘pinched’ nerve is a common term used to describe an experience of nerve like pain. This experience can happen anywhere in the body but the most frequently seen is the sciatic nerve or the nerves running from the neck to the arm. When the sciatic nerve located in the back is sensitized this will often result in referred leg pain. This may be caused by something non-structural like overstretching, local swelling or sensitivity of the nerve or it could be something more structural like an arthritic spur or disc protrusion. The term ‘pinched’ is really only a true description when there is a structural impingement on the nerve. This only happens in a small percentage of cases when an individual is experiencing nerve pain.

A pinched nerve in the neck can cause arm weakness, pain, and altered reflexes. Symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck can often be confused with other common conditions such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rotator cuff injuries.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on your median nerve which runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Symptoms include pins and needles, numbness and pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome has many causes, including anything that causes swelling in the wrist such as arthritis or repetitive hand movements.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is an injury to the muscles that are responsible for extending the wrist and fingers. The injury usually occurs on the bony bump located on the outside of the elbow where the muscles attach. Tennis elbow usually causes pain when performing gripping tasks and wrist or finger extensions. Tennis elbow can be caused by repetitive tasks such as painting, typing or repetitive gripping and can be a result of poor muscle strength or poor technique during certain physical activities.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injuries are a common shoulder problem. The shoulder joint is relatively unstable in structure compared to other joints in the body to allow for the large range of motion required at the joint. The joint consists of a ball and socket joint which is controlled by a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff. The muscle and tendons in this area are vulnerable to tears and other injuries, depending on the loads placed upon them. A rotator cuff injury can include mild inflammation or tendinitis, local shoulder bursitis or more severe injuries such as partial or complete tears.

Symptoms of Nerve Injury

There are many symptoms that can be caused by nerve problems. Some symptoms can indicate that the nerve is inflamed by sending signals such as:

  • Pins and needles
  • Pain
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Burning sensations

Other nerve injury symptoms can indicate that the nerve has become compressed or its signals are being blocked or interfered with. These symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Reduced reflexes

Physio Nerve Treatment

A highly skilled physiotherapist can treat many conditions related to nerve pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, chronic pain, referred pain, and restless legs. Nerve physiotherapy aims to improve the environment of the nerve with manual therapy, including dry needling. It also aims to prevent any future nerve problems by teaching corrective exercises to deload the affected nerve structures.

Nerve physiotherapy is an effective way to treat and manage many different types of nerve pain and injury. Como physiotherapy has highly trained and qualified physios who provide expert care to patients. Physio nerve treatment identifies the cause of the nerve pain and applies treatment techniques to help relieve pressure, pain, and discomfort, returning the patient to their normal activities as quickly as possible.