Home Remedies for a Knee Sprain
Coming to home remedies for knee sprain, you must try the R.I.C.E. approach. However, in extreme cases of knee sprain you must consult a doctor or a physical therapist (PT) to assist you with the process:
- Giving Rest to Your Sprained Knee is the Best Home Remedy: You should avoid strenuous activities that cause knee pain or discomfort. But there is no need to avoid all activities. Just give yourself good rest. To prevent deconditioning during a knee sprain, you can lightly exercise other muscles. For instance, ride an exercise bicycle, or work both of your arms along with the uninjured leg but, make sure to rest the knee joint. So, you can exercise remaining limbs to continue cardiovascular conditioning.
- Ice-An Effective Home Remedy for Knee Sprain: Apply ice to affected area immediately. You can either use a cold pack or slush bath of ice for 10 to 15 minutes every time and repeat after two to three hours for a few days. Cold helps in minimizing the pain, swelling and redness of the injured muscles and joints. Stop continuing the ice treatment if the area turns white. It may happen due to frostbite. In case you have any vascular disease or diabetes, consult your doctor before using ice.
- Compression: It helps in stopping swelling due to knee sprain. You can use an elastic bandage to compress the area till the swelling disappears. Compression is a beneficial home remedy for knee sprain. Wrap it lightly or you may obstruct circulation. Start wrapping from the farthest end from your heart. If after wrapping the pain increases, or the swells, then loosen the bandage.
- Elevation: Elevating the injured area can reduce the swelling caused by knee sprain. Raise it above your heart, particularly during night because gravity can help in reducing swelling.
OTC (over the counter) pain medications like ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are also helpful.
You can start using your knee gently after first two days. You will notice a gradual and progressive improvement in the ability of the joint to support weight. Usually a mild sprain takes three to six weeks to heal completely with simple home remedies. Talk to your physical therapist (PT) to help you get better soon.
Other Home Remedies for Relief from Knee Sprain
- If you want speedy recovery, then take large amounts of pineapple along with your diet. Pineapple comprises of an enzyme-bromelain that helps in quick healing.
- However, there are certain side effects of bromelain like dermatitis, itching of skin etc. In the case of any side effects stop eating pineapple immediately.
- Aspirin or ibuprofen can be consumed to relieve swelling and pain associated with knee sprain.
- Massage the affected region with comfrey oil or cream to reduce the knee pain.
- You can add five drops of thyme oil in your bath water as a home remedy to get rid of the swelling of the sprained knee joint.
- Use a compress, arnica balm, or ointment for relieving pain.
- Another effective home remedy for knee sprain is to use horse chestnut on the injured knee joint. It contains a compound aescin that has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for all types of injuries. Spread this gel on the injured area and you will notice relief in pain in about two hours.
There are certain knee sprains that need splinting or casting. Consult your doctor about their uses. The knee sprains that are of higher grade require longer treatment, may also need surgical intervention and take time to heal. On the other hand, grade 1 knee sprains can be easily treated with the help of ice packs or by using any pain reliever such as Aspirin.
If the injury is not properly diagnosed or treated, then it can cause intensive problems and might become expensive to treat. In a grade 2 sprain doctors usually recommend you to wear a knee brace till the sprain heals and use crutches for some time. A severe sprain can cause the knee joint to become unstable. During such condition a cast is used to immobilize the joint till it heals. Refer a specialist for proper evaluation. Sometimes even after your recovery, when you return to normal activity, doctors may recommend to wear knee brace for support and to protect it from further sprain.
Exercises for a Knee Sprain
You can perform the knee exercises explained ahead after the complete recovery of the knee sprain in order to prevent any further injury or relapsing into it.
Stretching exercises usually helps in improving the performance of the knee muscles. Do warm up exercises before stretching. You can also try riding a stationary bike for five minutes or take a short walk for 2 minutes with pumping your legs. You can also do push-ups along with calf raises. These techniques will help you benefit from your workout and thereby, reduce the risk of knee injury.
Straight Leg Raise Exercises for Knee Sprain
Straight leg raise exercises for a knee sprain are a simple exercise to start with. It helps in strengthening your biceps, muscles present in the front of your thigh. It does not put any strain on your knee. Lie down on your back and bend one knee while the other if flat on the floor. Try to keep the other leg straight and lift it to the height of opposite knee. Do it 10 to 15 times for 3 sets.
Hamstring Curls Exercise for Knee Sprain
Hamstrings are the muscles present in the back of your thigh. Hamstring curls for knee sprain involve lying flat on the stomach and slowly bringing the heels close to the buttock. Hold the position for some time and repeat. You can also perform while standing by holding a chair. Try to do three sets of 15. When you get comfortable increase the strength by adding ankle weights. Increase gradually from 1 to 3 to 5 pounds.
Closed Chain Exercises or Wall Squats for Knee Sprain
Closed chain exercises are also called as wall squats can aid in strengthening the knee joint and reduce the recurrence of knee sprain. These are advanced strengthening exercises in which you have to place your feet on the floor. Stand straight with the back against a wall and feet apart about shoulder-width. Then, gently bend your knees while keeping the back and pelvis still against the wall. Hold the position for up to 5-10 seconds. There is no need to bend in too deeply or there are chances of getting your knee injured. In case of any pressure or discomfort in the knees, change your position. Repeat it again and try to sit in the position for a few seconds more each time.
Step-Up Exercises for Knee Sprain
Step-Up exercises can really help in improving the blood flow for knee sprain. Position one leg on a step bench or on a platform which is 3 to 5 inches tall. Keep your pelvis in level and bend your knee. Then slowly bring the opposite foot to the floor. Touch the floor with your toe lightly and then rise back. It should be repeated about 10 to 15 times then switch to other leg. When you get comfortable with this exercise you can move to higher step or touch the heel instead of toe.
Prone Straight Leg Raise Exercises for Knee Sprain
Prone straight leg raise exercises for knee sprain stretches and increases the blood flow for the whole leg. Lie down on your stomach and keep your legs straight. Then, tighten the bottom muscles and the hamstring of one leg by lifting it towards the ceiling. Hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds, lower, and then repeat it. Try to do 10-15 lifts and after that switch sides. When you get comfortable add weights to the ankle. There should be no back pain. In case you get back pain then reduce the height of lift. If it is still painful then stop continuing and consult your doctor.
Leg Press Exercises for a Knee Sprain
Leg presses for a knee sprain is done by sitting on a leg-press machine against your back and head for support. Lie your feet flat on the foot plate. Make adjustment to the seat and pull it back till you feel comfortable. Then slowly push away the plate with the help of your legs until they are extended. Make sure that your knees remain unlocked. After that bend the knees and return to the starting position. Try to repeat three sets of 10-15 reps.