June 24, 2021

How to Take the Best Care of Your Knee Injuries During Sports

Your knee is the largest and strongest joint in the body. Because its structure is so complicated, the joint is susceptible to various injuries, especially in athletes. Athletic sports are inherent to sudden stops, turns, and twists, putting pressure and stress on the knee joints while running. These stringent movements make it easy to cause knee pain or injuries, particularly with certain sports. Sports that have a high risk of developing knee injuries:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Basketball
  • Skiing
  • Lacrosse

If you participate in sports, the chances of you having a knee injury are very common. If you sustain a minor knee injury, the best thing to do is rest the joint to give it time to heal to prevent further damage to the knee. But if your knee injury is too painful to tolerate and shows signs of a more severe injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. Treatment for a knee injury is dependent upon the degree and type of joint injury itself.  

Most people can treat minor knee injuries with simple at-home self-care. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and following the “R-i-c-e” method can help speed up the healing process of a joint injury.  

  • Rest and take a break from your usual activities for 24 – 48 hours. 
  • Ice your knee to reduce pain and inflammation (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off).
  • Compression can reduce the swelling by wrapping the joint with a brace or an elastic bandage. If you need to bandage the injured joint for more than 48 – 72 hours, medical attention might be necessary.
  • Elevate the injury above the level of the heart while resting, icing, and compressing the joint.

More severe knee injuries will require a visit to an Orthopedic Surgeon. The doctor will assess the nature of the injury and form a treatment plan. If you are unsure if you should seek medical care for a knee injury, there are warning signs that could indicate you do.

  • Swelling and stiffness of the knee.
  • The knee is reddish.
  • Knee is tender to the touch.
  • The appearance of our knee seems deformed.
  • Unable to tolerate weight on your knee.
  • Knee makes grinding or popping noises as you move.

Being active is one of the best things you can do for your body. It can improve your muscle strength, endurance, and energy level. But knee injuries do happen. Knowing the risk factors that contribute to knee injuries can help to reduce the chances of having an injury.   

  • Excessive body weight increases the stress on your knee joints. It puts you at risk of developing osteoarthritis because the strain can accelerate the breakdown of the cartilage. 
  • Inadequate warm-ups before workouts or sports decrease flexibility and performance.
  • Poor physical conditioning can cause weak muscles and low vitality.
  • Previous knee injury puts you at a higher risk of your knee being injured again.

Knowing the risk factors to prevent knee injuries is also important to learn the preventions. For people who enjoy participating in sporting activities or just generally being active, following a few guidelines can help to decrease the chances of having a knee injury. A consistent program of care and prevention will benefit your overall health. 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing you can do for your knees.
  • Staying in shape to play sports prepares your muscles for the demands it brings.
  • Practice techniques to make sure the movement patterns you use are perfect.
  • Staying flexible and strong helps the muscles around the knees work together more effectively.
  • Be smart about the way you exercise with an injury so that you can provide some relief. 

Taking care of yourself during an injury is important for the healing process. Some knee injuries and medical conditions can lead to serious concerns that should not be ignored. That is why finding the best Orthopedic Surgeon to consult with can make all the difference. Dr. Paul Buzhardt is just that doctor. He has served the Lafayette, La area with over 11 years of experience. Learn more about the services he provides or contact the office directly today at 337-703-3201. He and his qualified staff will be waiting to hear from you.