Sports Therapy For Knee Injuries
Whether you play football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, you know that injuries are a common occurrence. When someone becomes injured while playing sports, there's always highly qualified staff available to help players get treatment as soon as possible. Knee injuries are extremely prevalent when it comes to sports related problems, and the severity can vary from mild pain and swelling to as serious as needing surgery. Sports therapists can help athletes with these issues in a variety of ways.
When an athlete suffers a knee injury, the sports therapist will recommend a process known as P.R.I.C.E. to help relieve pain and swelling and attempt to reduce further injury. The term P.R.I.C.E. refers to the act of protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation:
- Protection - Upon initial assessment, the therapist will attempt to protect the knee from further damage by applying a bandage or brace.
- Rest - The athlete will be told to rest and will be unable to play sports for some time until the knee has healed.
- Ice - Ice should be applied to the knee as soon as possible to help reduce swelling and to minimize pain.
- Compression - Athletes dealing with a knee injury should be fitted with compression bandages or a brace that will help to keep the knee in place and help combat the swelling.
- Elevation - Most sports therapists recommend that the legs stay elevated above the heart as much as possible to help the knee heal faster.
While sports therapists can help athletes treat the initial knee injury, there may be some circumstances that will lead them to recommend that the athlete see a doctor for more in-depth treatment. If any of the following symptoms are being experienced, the sports therapist will refer the athlete to a physician:
- Pain that is severe, particularly when walking, that does not subside after 24-48 hours.
- Any swelling of the knee that appears abnormal and does not go down after revaluation or the P.R.I.C.E. method has been administered.
- Any loud popping or cracking noises that can be heard in the knee as the athlete walks.
- Weakness in the knees that make it hard to climb stairs or keep balance.
- The feeling of knee joints popping or "locking" into place when the athlete moves.
- Any numbness or loss of feeling in the feet, calves, and knee.
- The athlete is having any difficulty returning to normal activities after several days of ice, compression, and rest.
Sports therapists understand the complexities that come with sports induced injuries, and they can assist athletes with immediate treatment. Any recommendations received by a sports therapist should be followed so the athlete can return to normal play as soon as possible.
For more information and assistance, visit an injury or sports rehabilitation center, such as Eagle Center Physical Therapy.