Knees are an important part of a movement in any sport–they’re involved either directly or indirectly when running, jumping, cutting, pivoting, and more. Unfortunately, knee injuries are a common occurrence in sports. Any athlete who has been playing for a while is likely to have experienced one of these unfortunate events.
Unfortunately, they can be hard to recover from and often end up being career-ending injuries. While it’s always possible that you’ll bounce back from your knee injury with time, you have to be doing the right thing. Here’s how you can handle a knee injury.
Stop Any Activities That Cause Pain
If you’ve injured your knee and the pain won’t go away, don’t push yourself to continue playing. It will likely get worse if you do so. You might not be able to recover from the damage in that case, and once an injury becomes chronic like that, it can end up becoming a bigger problem in the long run.
Your knee is injured, but the rest of your leg isn’t. Make sure to keep it healthy to recover faster and stay active while you heal! Get good sleep, eat healthy foods (that includes not skipping out on any major food groups like fruits or vegetables), wear supportive shoes that aren’t too stiff, stretch, ice your knee when it hurts—the list goes on.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Therapies Can Provide Some Relief
If you aren’t quite at the stage where surgery is a consideration, OTC therapies like braces and splints can help provide some relief. These will immobilize your knee in such a way that it reduces pain and swelling while also helping with muscle control and meniscus tear. Braces might be intimidating if you’ve never worn one before, but they exist for a reason—and it’s not just to make you feel self-conscious.
Physical therapy and surgery aren’t the only options that athletes have after a knee injury. OTC remedies can be useful as well, depending on the severity of your injury. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make the best choice possible.
Use Ice To Help The Healing Process
Ice is one of the best ways to reduce pain and swell around your knee due to an injury. It works by numbing pain receptors in that area, allowing you to get relief quickly while also helping to control both the amount of blood that flows through your injured knee and the speed at which it travels there.
If you aren’t sure when you should ice your knee, the general rule of thumb is that if the inches around it are swollen and red, ice can help. Keep in mind that ice won’t reduce pain for swelling in between layers of skin—that’s why ice works best on unbroken skin.
Physical Therapy Can Help To Speed Up Recovery
After a knee injury, going to physical therapy can help you recover faster. The goal for your physical therapist will be to teach you how to move as safely as possible after your surgery or injury.
In addition, they’ll aim to reduce both pain and swelling. There are several different exercises that your physical therapist can recommend for you, but some of the most common are straight leg raises, stair climbing, squatting, knee bends, and more.
Ligament Reconstruction Surgery Might Be The Best Option
If you’ve injured your knee, but your physical therapist can’t help you get back to 100%, ligament reconstruction surgery might be the best option. Surgery isn’t common, but it’s done in some cases where other treatments can’t fix the problem.
Ligaments are meant to keep your knee together, and they prevent your bones from slipping in and out of alignment.
Without them, your knee is more likely to get injured again—and it may do so with less force than the original injury. But, unfortunately, this surgery can’t always guarantee that an athlete will be able to return to their sport after recovering from the surgery.
Use Prescription Drugs To Control Pain And Swelling
In many cases, prescription drugs are the most effective way to control pain and swelling after an injury. They can help you manage both of these things in a way that ice just can’t, especially if you need relief even when the ice isn’t working. In addition, your doctor will be able to provide you with more insight into what prescription drugs might be right for your knee.
If you are an athlete who has recently sustained a knee injury, it can be hard to know the best course of action. This article provides six tips for athletes on handling their injury so that they don’t have to worry about being sidelined or slowed down by pain and swelling. Instead, we hope this information will help you get back into your game faster.