All You Need to Know About Knee Rehabilitation
Chronic ache or sudden injury, when experiencing pain in the area knee rehabilitation in needed – and welcome. How you go about the treatment will likely depend on what type of injury or pain was incurred.
Runners often experience knee pain, partly due to the strain placed on the area while jogging or running. If a runner experiences a sudden, sharp pain it may be due to an injury such as a torn ligament. Such a thing requires an equally sudden response. See a doctor or visit the emergency room right away.
Other times the act of regular running, especially on pavement or hilly courses, will put strain on the area and eventually the need for knee rehabilitation arises. Treatment for this can begin at home before there is need to see a medical professional. Rest is the first step, as taking strain off of your knee is important. Apply ice to the area as well, being sure to do so in short intervals so as not to risk damaging your skin from the cold. Afterwards, wrap your knee in bandage – not too tightly – for compression of the area. Lastly, elevate the knee while you are resting, keeping it propped on a stool or pillows for comfort. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – or RICE for easy reference.
This type of knee rehabilitation may not be extensive enough, especially with sudden injuries. If that is your case, or if these home treatments aren’t offering relief, see your doctor. A visit to a physician who specializes in sports medicine will likely be required (mainly orthopedic surgeons). It may be that surgery is the best option, but be sure to gather all of the information and discuss your case extensively with the specialist before making any decisions. Surgery will require lengthy knee rehabilitation.
With chronic pain (or post surgery) you may be referred to a physical therapist. The therapist will often check your stance or stride (if possible) to determine whether you are applying undue strain to the knee. They should provide you with strengthening and stretching exercises that serve to help the knee recover and improve blood flow to the area. Regular and sometimes frequent visits to the physical therapist are necessary, as is a commitment to follow through on the exercises.
You may benefit from a visit to the podiatrist, who can fit you with orthotics that will correct any difficulties with your stride or stance. Sometimes the simple act of walking or standing a certain way has the potential to harm your knees. Orthotics can offer support and correction where necessary.
Medication can be taken while you are progressing through knee rehabilitation. Anti-inflammatory medication works well as it reduces pressure and swelling in the area. Be sure to talk to your doctor and obtain advice about what type of pharmaceutical is best for you. Watch that your medication doesn’t mask or disguise the actual rehabilitation of your knee. Work through your physical therapy exercises without them whenever possible.
There are many things you can do to prevent knee injuries and knee strain from happening. If you are overweight and experience pain in the knee joints losing a few pounds will help to reduce strain and pain. Stretching and warming up before exercise can help to improve blood flow and loosen muscles. Also remember to always wear protective gear when engaging in contact sports – leg braces or knee and shin guards can help you to avoid knee injury altogether. Talk to your podiatrist about the ideal shoes for your chosen sport and wear any orthotics prescribed to you. An ounce of prevention can save hours and even days in therapy.
Knee rehabilitation is generally not a quick process and requires commitment on your part. But the ability to participate in your favorite sport or just move around without pain is well worth it.