Your knees help you to walk, run, sit and kick. Hence, an injury to the knee that triggers knee pain and limits movement is the nightmare of every person. Apart from accidents that exert a direct blow to the knee, you may injure your knees by overusing them or through wrong movements.
Depending upon the tissues of the knee affected by the injury and the nature of the injury, knee injuries are divided into different categories. Common types of knee injuries include sprains, strains, tendonitis, bursitis, fractures, dislocation and cartilage injury.
Regardless of the cause and severity of the knee injury, knee injuries can be effectively treated with home treatment and medications. However, in case of severe knee injury that causes serious damage to the knee tissues, surgical procedures are the best options for restoring the health and function of the knees.
How To Treat Knee Injuries
Mild to moderate cases of strains, sprains and injury caused by excessive use of the knees respond to the treatment strategy known as RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Resting the injured knee helps to accelerate healing of the injured tissues. Depending upon the severity of the injury, people with knee injuries are asked to rest the injured knee and limit movement for a few days or up to several weeks.
In case of fractures or severe injury to the tendons or ligaments, the knee is immobilized with the help of a cast or knee immobilizer for a specific period.
After sustaining a knee injury, applying ice pack or coldwater compress to the injured knee helps to limit swelling. Applying moist cold compresses for several days alleviates pain and discomfort in the injured knee.
The swelling in the injured joint can be reduced by bandaging the injured area with an elastic bandage.
Make sure that the bandage is not too tight. Excessively tightening the injured knee will worsen the pain and swelling.
Elevating the injured knee helps to reduce swelling and prevents pooling of blood in the affected area.
Warm moist compress is usually applied 48 to 72 hours after sustaining an injury. The heat stimulates blood circulation in the injured knee, thereby accelerating the healing process. It also helps to improve flexibility of the knee joint. Alternating heat compresses with cold compresses provides the best result.
Simple stretching exercises help to improve the flexibility of the injured joint. However, exercises appropriate for the injured knee depend upon the condition of the knee.
How To Prevent Knee Injuries
To protect the knees from injuries, always wear protective gears during sporting activities. Shin guards and knee guards act as cushions, minimizing damage to the knees. While jumping, always bend the knees while landing on the ground to reduce pressure on the joints and prevent knee injuries.
Start your workout sessions or sporting activities with warm up exercises. These exercises by conditioning the joints and muscles help to improve balance and coordination. Stretching and strength training exercises, by improving flexibility of the knee and strengthening the muscles around it diminish risk of knee injuries.