Whether you are an athlete or not, it is highly likely that you will suffer a knee injury of some sort during the course of your life. From strains and sprains to abrasions and even wounds, the knee joint is susceptible to a number of injuries that can render you immobile. When this happens, extra attention must be given to the affected knee in order to prevent further damage and promote speedy recovery. However, caring for an injured knee is a process that must be managed properly and in the right way in order to achieve the best results. There are several ways to do this:
- Practice RICE:The first thing to do upon getting a knee injury is to follow the RICE steps which are popular with athletes. The acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate and outlines the steps to follow in dealing with fresh injuries, whether it’s a simple bruise or a suspected muscle tear.
– Resting involves immediately stopping the activity that you were involved in and sitting or lying down to take pressure off the affected knee. It helps to also support the affected area with a pillow or cushion during the resting period.
– Icing the area often helps to reduce pain and swelling and thereby, reducing discomfort that can result from the injury. Place an ice pack on the knee for between 10 – 20 minutes and repeat this process at least 3 times for the day or until the swelling subsides.
– Compression of the injured knee requires the use of a suitable knee brace from G7 – Solutions that can help to provide support to the affected joint in addition to the surrounding muscles and tissue. Among the best knee braces to use is a compression knee sleeve, especially one that is copper-infused. With spandex for stretchiness, these knee braces not only help to keep the injured knee comfortable but also aids in the reduction of pain and swelling and keeps away bacteria if the skin is broken.
– Elevating the injured knee can begin anytime during the application of the RICE method to speed up the reduction of swelling and promote blood flow to the affected area. The leg should be kept at above the level of the heart but not too high. This way, it stays in a comfortable position until you are able to move again. During elevation, the injured knee may be massaged gently to further enhance the effect.
- Seek Medical Help: While not every knee injury requires medical assistance, there are several signs to look for to know if you should after applying the RICE method. For one, if the swelling refuses to subside after two days of treatment or if the joint becomes hard to move, this might indicate a more serious problem that requires medical intervention to correct. Another thing to look for is if there is discoloration such as the leg and/or knee becoming pale or blue or if there are signs of infection developing. Finally, if the symptoms persist or get worse, you should definitely go to see the doctor in order to prevent the condition from getting to a point where it is out of control.
- Do Light Exercises: Once the injury is under control and there is no swelling or excessive pain, you should turn to light exercises in order to slowly ease the knee back into regular activity. Depending on the level of injury being recovered from, this can take some time. Wearing a suitable knee brace, however, can help to speed up the process as it will reduce the pain and discomfort faster and provide support to the knee as you do light stretches. It will also help to promote blood flow to the area while preventing the possibility of infection, further enhancing the speed of recovery. During this rehabilitative stage, avoid high impact exercises such as skipping, playing tennis or running until all discomfort is gone.
- Take Medication as Prescribed: If you were given medication and/or supplements by your doctor, be sure to take all as prescribed to fully maximize the benefits. Not completing your dosage may lead to the injury not getting better completely and keep you ‘lamed up’ for much longer than you want to be.
- Practice Proper Nutrition: Eating right is also very important to the recovery process as the injured area may require an intake of certain nutrients in order to help boost the recovery process. Eating a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals will certainly be great as is taking supplements containing glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids and chondroitin. These substances have been shown to help relieve discomfort resulting from minor knee injuries so you should definitely be increasing your intake of these.
Taking care of an injured knee the right way is not hard but should be done carefully in order to reap the best results. Once the knee is better, preventative measures should also be looked into to prevent future damage to the knees. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in a high quality knee brace like the one from G7 – Solutions that can be worn from time to time to help support the muscles and knee when attempting strenuous training activities or sports. That way, your knee and muscles will be supported and help to ward off future injuries.