As more people are staying involved in competitive athletic activity later into adulthood, there are more individuals experiencing the types of injuries that only college or professional athletes used to have the privilege of experiencing like ACL tears or lateral meniscus issues.
The problem with this is that full-time athletes have all the time in the world to heal and recover while the rest of us have to keep on doing normal life. One of the most common and debilitating types of sports-related injuries is what is referred to as a “blown knee.” When someone blows out their knee, they have usually suffered a sprain, tear, or severance of a tendon in their knee that works to hold the joint together. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery can be required. Before surgery though and as a means to getting on a faster path to recovery, here are some self-care tips for those weekend warriors out there who are suffering through a knee injury.
Elevate, Elevate, Elevate
This is perhaps the most important thing that someone can do for themselves after suffering a knee injury. Elevating the knee is done by propping it up on pillows while laying down. It is important to note that to be most effective, the knee must be propped at a level higher than the heart. Elevation in a knee injury is important because it helps return blood to the heart that is rushing to the injured area and causing edema, swelling, and bruising. Reducing swelling quickly is essential in getting the healing process started.
Some very light massage in the areas surrounding the knee is critical from day one after the injury. This is because a knee injury does not just impact the joint, it impacts all of the muscles around it that are part of holding that joint together. In addition to that, the act of limping can throw muscles into further misalignment and massage is a great way to trigger them back into proper action. Massaging around the injured area can be done be a professional or it can be done at home with a foam roller and tennis ball.
The same tendency that gets a weekend warrior to attempt feats that lead to knee injuries will also keep them from resting adequately. Knees hold a ton of weight and when they are injured, they need a break from any weight-bearing activity for a period of time.
The most important thing to do after a knee injury is to get medical attention quickly and follow the advice of your doctor. Not taking care of a knee injury properly can lead to chronic issues that you do not want to deal with later in life.