Don’t Prolong Knee Pain: Cross-Train
If an knee injury is not severe, rest may very well prolong your recovery.
Years of jogging, tennis and skiing puts added stress and strain on your knees. When exercising becomes painful, don’t put your health at risk. Consult an orthopedist or physical therapist to assess whether arthroscopic surgery may be necessary.
If an injury is not severe, resting your knee may very well prolong your recovery. Most sports medicine treatment plans advise rest until the pain goes away. But that thinking is outdated. Muscles become stiff and atrophy, and recovery may take months to get your strength and motion back.
Injured tissue heals better when it’s under some sort of stress. You’ve heard the expression, ‘ walk it off ’. Unless it’s something as serious as a broken bone or a ripped ligament or muscle, stopping exercise altogether may be the worst thing to do. Just not at the same intensity for a while.
Don’t arrest the pain by over medicating.
People tend to minimize pain by taking drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Initially these medicines can help reduce inflammation from an injury — but over time, it may make matters worse.
Play it safe, cross-train.
Work with your physical therapist who specializes in knee pain. Develop a recovery plan that is going to get you back out there safely and in time for that next big race. Cross-training is one of the safest ways to treat a pain condition. Runners often modify their training to minimize the pain by cross training. Instead of running, they cycle or swim until the pain is gone.
Strength training exercises are a key part of a recovery program. Core exercises focus on strengthening your knee with:
Single leg dips
Straight leg lifts
Never dismiss the pain during the recovery process. Tell your physical therapist if something hurts. Stop if you feel discomfort or if the pain is acute. A knee recovery program may take weeks or months — it depends on the severity of the injury and whether or not you had surgery.
Your therapist will work closely with you. Together you and your doctor will carefully develop a cross-training program that gets you back into the game.
Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.