How to treat knee sprain?

Treating a knee sprain is a similar procedure to any other sprain. Of course, we must follow it to the letter to avoid certifications.

Next, we will see a brief description of what a knee sprain is. Later, we will analyze the best way to treat this pathology with a certain frequency in the sports field.

What is knee sprain?

A sprain occurs when a ligament in the body is injured. The ligaments’ function is to provide stability to the joints, and they also act as a movement limiter, thus preventing the structures from going out of their anatomical range. Thus, they help stabilize and prevent injuries.

The injury mechanism of a sprain is a movement that causes the ligament to overstretch. It occurs due to a movement so fast or abrupt that the ligament cannot contain the joint. When the ligament reacts and returns to its place, the damage has already been done.

There are even times when a sprain can lead to a torn ligament. In these cases, the applied force is so strong that the fibers of the ligament break.

Since we have ligaments in all the joints of the body, sprains can also appear anywhere. Let’s focus on the knee ligaments.


General treatment of knee sprain

As with other sprains, we should start treating the knee sprain as soon as possible. If we can, as soon as we sustain the injury, the best we can do is limit its scope. For this, it will be necessary to apply local cold and compress and elevate the area. In this way, we limit the resulting bruise and contain the inflammation.

During the first 48 hours, in addition to these measures, we will also have to rest. Unlike muscles, the ligament is a structure that needs to rest to recover. That is, not by starting to work earlier will we improve faster. Therefore, we must respect the time indicated for the degree of injury we have suffered.

After these first 48 hours, we already change the cold for the heat. Likewise, we can go to a physiotherapist, who will apply ultrasounds or other physical means at your disposal.

Once the injury allows us to return to work, we will start with proprioception exercises: exercises that work on balance. As explained in a publication in the journal Physiotherapy, these exercises largely request the ligaments’ activation. Muscle strengthening, which will have been touched after the injury and the rest period, will also be important.

From here, as a study published by the journal EMC – Kinesitherapy – Physical Medicine indicates, it will be possible and important to return to normal life little by little, especially if we practice sports. In this sense, we must gradually increase the load and repeatedly practice the gestures in controlled environments before performing them in competition.

Keys to recovering from a knee sprain

Summarizing everything mentioned above, what we are looking for during the treatment of a knee sprain is:

  • Ensure that the ligament is fully recovered.
  • Retraining the injured ligament so that it has the necessary resistance and reaction speed.
  • Have strong musculature so that it can withstand great efforts without depending too much on the ligament.

The four ligaments

On the other hand, it is appropriate to remember that in the knee, we have four ligaments: the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, internal collateral, and external collateral. In general, the treatment will be similar for all four.

The difference will be the application of cold in the initial stages and exercises in the final stages. While for the cruciate ligaments, we will have a greater impact on starts and braking, for the collaterals, we will work more on zigzag movements.

A full recovery

The good thing about this injury is that after treating the knee sprain, we will, in all likelihood, make a full recovery. In the case of grade 3 sprains, having sequelae will be greater since the damage is such that they require surgical intervention.

However, even in these cases, a full recovery is plausible. You have to arm yourself with patience and follow the recommendations and the times reliably.

This last point is key, whatever the degree of the sprain. Even if we love a sport, waiting to be fully recovered is essential. Otherwise, we can chronicle the injury, which would mean that it would cause us discomfort for a long time. If this happens, it will limit us to a greater extent than if we had waited a few days.

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