Whether you twisted it or landed wrong after a fall, an injured knee is nothing to laugh at. A sprained knee involves one or more of the four main ligaments in the knee overextending or tearing slightly. The pain can be incredible, and it's important to respond quickly with the right treatment.
Rest Your Knee
The first thing to do when you've sprained your knee is to stay off your feet. Rest your knee and give it some time to heal. When you injure yourself, your body needs time to come to terms with the injury and to start repairing it. Adding weight to your knee now can also worsen the injury, which is not what you want to do.
While you're resting up, have a friend or loved one bring you ice packs. A great alternative to an ice pack is a package of frozen peas or corn. The vegetables conform to your injured area without adding pressure. Also, by the time they're warming up, you can take a break from the icing.
Use a Compression Bandage
Compression bandages help to reduce swelling while offering your injury a little bit of stability. While you shouldn't be walking around much at all, those trips to the bathroom will be a little bit easier once you add the compression bandage. Be careful not to wrap your knee too tightly, since you still want to leave some room for blood flow.
Elevate Your Knee
Another way to manage swelling is to elevate your knee. Keep your knee above the level of your heart to allow some of the swelling to leave your knee and your leg. Use pillows under your knee so that you don't put pressure on your knee joint while propping up your leg.
Take Over-the-Counter Medications
For mild pain, over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs can help. They can also help to relieve swelling. Be sure to take them according to the directions on the package.
After the first three days, heat can be more help to your sprained knee than ice can. Use a heating pad or soak in a warm bath until the water cools. As the knee heals, pain and stiffness should fade.
If you need help with knee pain treatment or your knee sprain seems to be something more complicated, contact an expert in knee health at The Centre for Physiotherapy. You can't be too careful with your knees, and getting the right treatment means a faster recovery.