According to Dr. Richard Nahas, severe knee injuries can change your life drastically. It makes everyday things more inconvenient and even messes with your mobility. If you’re an athlete or someone who is into sports, it’s even more devastating. Let’s check out how you can return to sports after a knee injury.
- Bracing – Before you can start running and hopping around in the field or the court, you need to equip your injured knee with adequate support. That’s where braces and supportive serves come in. The market is full of all kinds of interesting options that would help keep your knee aligned when you turn, twist, bend, jump and do all sorts of crazy manoeuvres.
However, it’s important to choose the right type of base or supportive sleeve. It depends on several factors including the extent of your injury, the activities you’re going to perform, and the type of sports you’re going back to. If you’re not sure about it, consult your doctor or get a simple stabilized knee support that keeps your knee aligned and applies compression.
- Increase your range of motion – When you’ve given your knees ample rest, you work your other muscles. However, at further stages of recovery, you need to work out the leg muscles and ligaments on your joints to strengthen them. At that stage, you’re prepared for putting weight on the injured knee.
However, you’ll find your range of motion to be lacking due to the weakened ligaments, muscles and injury. It simply means you need to strengthen those muscles more and focus your workout routines around them to get back that range of motion. Start doing lunges, squats, step-ups, hamstring curls and calf exercises to strengthen your injured knee.
- Reduce the swelling – When you start on your recovery journey, you’ll be working out your lower body in some way or another. That means your injured knee is going to swell from time to time. To quicken the recovery process, use compression or ice packs to keep the swelling in check without slowing down the blood flow too much. This helps in muscle recovery and reduces the rate of fatigue.
- Plyometrics – As you’re near the end of your recovery, adding plyometrics to your routine would help build speed, balance and strength. The goal is to get you close to the state you were in before the injury. Plyometric drills like box jump, hopping and agility drills would be helpful. This also helps to keep your agility and balance in check and preferably improve that. Improving your balance and agility would help you avoid knee injuries in the future and stay on top of your game.
Dr. Richard Nahas suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips to hasten the recovery process and get back in your game. However, it’s important to recover completely and minimize the risk to the affected area. Consult your doctor before you go back to the field.