You could take your knees for granted until you hurt one. Knee pain can quickly make general exercise difficult or unbearable.
The purpose of the knee is to support weight and help absorb the effects of exercise. A healthy knee is strong, has a wide range of motion, and painless. If you are experiencing knee pain, then the “no pain, no gain” spirit will not help you. Fighting knee pain instead of curing and preventing knee pain can cause more pain in the long run. For example, ignoring knee pain that turned out to be a ruptured ligament can increase your early arthritis risks.
If you’ve recently injured your knee and had knee surgery, your recovery may seem to last forever. There are several essential things you can do to make your recovery faster and smoother. Here are six tips to help you speed up your recovery.
1. Put on Knee Pads
After the operation; the doctor may give you knee pads. Straighten your knees as much as possible and keep your knees supported to avoid unnecessary strain. Remember that the pad can protect and stabilize the knee. It is an important part of the medical equipment, which helps in rehabilitation.
2. Keep Your Knees Straight
It may not be very comfortable, but it is vital to keep the knee joint entirely straight immediately after an operation. If you need to move around, try to minimize standing time and use a wheelchair. While sitting and lying down, straighten your legs without bending the joints. It is crucial to give enough time to heal the joints. The doctor will tell you when it is safe to bend or move the joint.
R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) 2-3 times a day on the knee can help reduce inflammation. Each stage has the following roles:
- Rest: Resting your knees allows you to get rid of activities that stimulate or worsen inflammation.
- Ice: Ice the knee for 15 minutes to restrict blood flow and reduce inflammation. It can also act as paralysis, anesthesia, or pain relief.
- Compression: Wrapping or compressing the knee can limit excess heat and blood flow to the area.
- Elevation: Elevating the legs and knees above the heart can increase blood flow to the heart, remove excess blood from the knees, and speed up circulation.
The doctor may also recommend short-term anti-inflammatory drugs or over-the-counter pain relievers.
4. Exercise Appropriately
After surgery, it is essential to only participate in exercises and activities approved by the doctor. The exact exercise approved depends on the operation’s complexity, overall physical health, and time after the procedure. Exercises that a doctor can approve include:
- Leg press with resistance band
- Bend and stretch the joints while sitting
However, do not try an exercise without approval from your doctor. This could make the surgical site uncomfortable and injure the knee again, which is only a longer recovery path.
If there is no particular injury or surgery, some people will be reluctant to try physical therapy and seek an Internet consultation. Some videos and articles describe how to improve and maintain flexibility in certain parts of the body, but cannot diagnose the specific cause of knee pain. It is not a substitute for personalized instructions to resolve the issue.
6. Leg Movement
According to information from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, doctors prescribe rehabilitation exercises after the first rehabilitation period to restore mobility and strength to the knee. It is strongly recommended that you exercise after surgery to speed recovery, but it is essential to avoid excessive exercise immediately after surgery to allow sufficient time for recovery. Exercise also helps reduce muscle wasting (when muscles are exhausted) and reduces the possibility of blood clots.