Everyone experiences knee injuries from time to time so here are some suggestions on how to treat knee injuries when they occur.
– Most Minor Injuries can be treated at home
– Use the Rice Method (see below)
– After approximately 72 hours, the swelling should start to dissipate
– When the swelling starts to dissipate, you could start to alternate between heat and ice.
The Rice Method consists of four different steps.
Rest – For the first few hours or days after the injury try not to use or move the injured area.
Ice – Ice provides the most benefit within the first few days after the injury. Ice will assist in decreasing the amount of swelling.
Compression – Compression will help reduce swelling and help with the flow of lymph fluid. Lymph fluid carries nutrients to the damaged area around the injury. Lymph fluid also plays an important role in removing waste from the injured area.
Elevate – Elevate the injured area to about the level of the heart. This will also help decrease swelling.
Keep doing the Rice Method for the first 3 days, do not apply heat until at least the second or third day.
After you have an injury, there are certain activities that you should avoid. You can easily remember this because they are called the H.A.R.M factors. The H.A.R.M. factors include:
Heat – Heat can increase swelling and bleeding. Avoid heat packs/hot baths/saunas
Alcohol – Alcohol increases swelling and bleeding, plus it can delay healing.
Running/Exercise – Running and exercise can aggravate an injury which, in turn, can increase pain, swelling and bleeding. Always check with a doctor before you start normal activities again.
Massage – Massaging an injured area may aggravate the damaged tissue and is best avoided for the first 48-72 hours
In general, after a knee injury, make sure that the first thing you do is reduce stress. Whatever caused the injury, to not try to continue doing it, as it could make the injury worse. A small injury could very easily turn into a major problem.
Make sure to use a cane or crutch whenever possible to avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on the knee. These items are generally available for purchase at any pharmacy. Do not participate in any high-impact activities until a doctor says that it is OK to do so.
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