A knee sprain occurs when a ligament in the area or more than one stretches and suddenly tear partially or completely. These ligaments are responsible for holding the knees and keep the bones together, making the joint is always in the correct position. This is an injury that commonly occurs during the practice of certain sports or physical exercises, in which a violent and abrupt knee movement or a very fast rotation of the joint is carried out. To reduce pain, inflammation and to recover mobility completely, it is necessary to know what measures should be adopted from the start and what are the appropriate treatments.
Steps to follow for Knee Sprain Relief:
1. Knee sprains usually occur when physical activities are performed or are the result of some type of injury related to the practice of sport. Specifically, we can say that there are two main causes of knee sprains:
- Twisting of the knee: twisting the knee suddenly can lead to a sprain. This situation can happen while doing sports in which you support the foot and quickly turn the knee (football, basketball, hockey, skiing, etc.), if you run, jump or change direction quickly and abruptly or carry out exercises in which the knee joint extends excessively.
- Strike or trauma to the knee: direct blows to the anterior, lateral or posterior part of the knee can also cause a sprain. This can happen if you fall on your knees when they are bent, if you hit the ground hard, during a car accident, etc.
The symptoms of a knee sprain may appear immediately after injury or produced, may be the case, that may not appear until after about two days; In general, the most common are the following:
- Cracking or painful crunch that even the person can hear.
- Pain located in the knee, especially when trying to walk or touching the area.
- Inflammation and redness.
- Decreased movement of the joint and stiffness.
2. In addition to knowing what the causes and symptoms are, it is important to note that based on the damage suffered by the injured ligament, knee sprains are classified as follows:
- Grade I: it is a mild sprain, in which the ligament has spread and only a few fibers have been torn or injured.
- Grade II: the sprain is moderate and in this case the ligament has been broken but is intact. When this happens, the person may have instability while standing or trying to walk.
- Grade III: the sprain is severe and there has been a tear or total tear of the ligament.
3. The treatment of the knee sprain will depend in each case on the degree of severity, the type and the cause of the injury, so it can vary enormously from one patient to another.
Usually, when a sprain occurs, one of the first steps to take should be the application of ice in the area , as extreme cold will help reduce inflammation and reduce pain. To do it correctly, you have to place an ice pack or a cold pack wrapped in a towel on the knee for 10 to 20 minutes; Avoid applying ice directly on the skin to avoid causing burns. This treatment can be done several times a day, once every hour or according to what the doctor tells you.
4. Another important recommendation to take into account is to compress the injured area, that is, to place a bandage or an elastic band that allows to keep the knee in a fixed position and prevent it from moving excessively. You must adjust the band in the way that seems most comfortable to you and trying to make it your support; It is essential that you do not squeeze too much and get to harm the good blood circulation of the leg, if you notice tingling or numbness in the feet, you should readjust it and loosen it a bit.
This type of bands can be bought at pharmacies and while you are using them, it is best that once a day you take it off and put it back after a few minutes.
5. When treating a knee sprain , a key aspect is to rest and rest as much as possible so that the injury heals faster. Suspend any practice of physical activity and try not to walk on the damaged knee while staying at full rest for at least 2 days, otherwise the swelling could increase considerably. During this time, you can use crutches or poles to stand up and avoid supporting the affected leg on the ground.
Likewise, while you are resting rested it is preferable that you keep your damaged leg elevated on pillows or cushions, avoiding placing these directly behind the knee. This is a fundamental measure to promote blood circulation and reduce swelling and pain.
6. In order to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by knee sprains, it can be very relieving to take some type of over-the-counter pain reliever , such as ibuprofen . To avoid putting your health at risk, before you start taking it, you must make sure that these types of drugs are suitable for you and follow carefully the instructions of the prospectus regarding the recommended dose for your physical condition. If you have any questions, consult your doctor and take into account the instructions you provide.
7. In those more severe cases, the doctor may recommend the start of a rehabilitation treatment , which also includes physiotherapy exercises. These are very beneficial to avoid stiffness of the joint, reduce swelling and start to recover the normal movement of the knee. In this way, you can resume your daily activities and sports in a shorter period of time.
Only in those cases in which a complete rupture of the ligament has occurred, the option of a surgical intervention to repair the damage and injury will be assessed.
8. The recovery time of a knee sprain will also depend on the type of injury that has been suffered and the severity of the injury. Generally, mild sprains can be cured between 3 and 4 weeks, moderate sprains between 4 and 6 weeks and severe sprains can take up to 8 weeks, approximately.
If you suspect that you have a knee sprain, it is always advisable to consult your doctor and start the prescribed treatment. Medical consultation is especially necessary and urgent if:
- You think it may be a fracture.
- During the injury you hear a kind of cracking or clicking and you can not move the joint.
- The knee is not in its correct position.
- You feel very strong and intense pains.
- The inflammation is very accentuated.
- You have suffered knee sprains before.
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