One of the most common sports injuries that people experience is a knee sprain. It is a very general term used for pain around the knee caused by an unnatural movement. New and experienced athletes often get hurt while exercising, but what exactly is damaged when you sprain your knee?
There are four ligaments associated with the knee. They are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and the medial collateral ligament (MCL). You will feel different pain associated with each ligament. An ACL injury may mean you have a hard time putting weight on your knee. With a PCL it may hurt to bend your leg or kneel. LCL pain will run along the inside of your knee and a MCL will cause pain in the outside. All of these can cause swelling or popping of the knee, muscle spasms, stiffness and, or bruising.
Treatment can be as simple as RICE- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Try to allow your knee to be still while the inflammation decreases. Over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to help lessen the pain. However, if your knee pain is severe or worsens, you may need to see a doctor and have images taken to see the ligaments themselves. A torn ligament would require surgery and a much longer recovery. Other treatments such as physical therapy or platelet rich plasma treatments may be recommended if the ligament has been damaged.
Listen to your body. See a doctor if pain is keeping you from the activities you want to participate in. Waiting could slow the healing process.
Posted on behalf of:
Advanced Healing Institute
22972 El Toro Road
Lake Forest, CA, 92630