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Knee Sprain 101: Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms and Treatment
With the summers back in full swing, most of us look forward to playing our favorite sports again. However, be it playing baseball or American football, all these sports have one thing in common - injuries. Performing rigorous physical activities such as playing football can frequently result in wounds like ankle injuries and knee sprains. In fact, a report by Physio Works concluded that knee wounds account for almost 25% of all football related injuries.

A knee sprain is an injury to the ligaments surrounding the knee that keep it anchored to the upper and the lower part of the leg. A ligament is a strong band of fibrous tissue surrounding a joint. A knee joint is surrounded by four different ligaments - Anterior Cruciate, Posterior Cruciate, Medial Cruciate and Lateral Cruciate. The cure for a knee sprain depends on the type and extent of the tear in these ligaments.

Here’s a closer look at a knee sprain treatment:

The different symptoms of a knee sprain depend on the type of ligament injured. The common symptoms include:

An ACL tear is one of the most frequently occurring knee sprains. It is characterized by a pop like a sound that arises when the ligament is torn. Other symptoms include severe pain and swelling post the injury, discoloration of the injured area to a black and blue color and a feeling of instability and loss of balance.

A PCL injury though less frequent can also result in long term pain for the player if not treated timely. It is characterized by the presence of mild pain that sharpens while kneeling and slight swelling and difficulty in movement.

  •     Medial Cruciate Ligament Tear (MCL)

An MCL sprain is usually identified by the presence of swelling and tenderness on the inside of the knee, it may have an inward buckling of the joint while it’s in movement.

  •     Lateral Cruciate Ligament Tear (LCL)

An LCL sprain can be identified by the presence of swelling and tenderness on the outer side of the knee, it may have outward buckling of the joint while it’s in movement.

Your knee is one of the most utilized joints in your body and is essential for performing any kind of vertical movement including walking, climbing and playing sports. Hence, any injury to the same needs to be examined immediately and treated systematically by a physiotherapist.

A Physical Therapist (PT) after examining the type and the severity of your knee sprain can treat it effectively. A knee sprain depending on its severity is classified in 3 different stages:

  •     Grade I - Tiny tears in the ligament that do not affect the knee’s ability to perform
  •     Grade II - Partial tear in the ligament that leads to some instability
  •     Grade III - Complete tearing of the ligament that leads to a complete loss of balance

Post a thorough examination, Grade I and Grade II injuries can be treated with the help of anti-inflammatory drugs and the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) Method. However, Grade III injuries require intense physiotherapy to ensure complete recovery. An experienced PT uses different techniques and exercises training to relieve the pain in your joint and restore strength to your knee muscles.

If you have sustained an injury while playing or are experiencing serious pain in your knee joints, consult a physiotherapy expert today.