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WE BELIEVE

Joint pain should never prevent anyone from living life to its fullest. The right information, at the right time, can change lives.

Physiobot nailed it. Two years of pain is over - thanks!

M. Hardy, Denver CO

YOUR MCL SPRAIN GUIDE

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Physiobot requires no account. As such, you need to save your guide now via email, or lose future access.

OVERVIEW

This care guide and related information is educational in nature. Always consult with a medical professional prior to initiating new exercises or trying a new product, drug, or supplement.

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CARE STRATEGY

If you suspect that you have an MCL injury, we highly recommend seeking advice from a clinician as soon as possible. Delaying treatment could limit your ability to recover fully, so it is better to err on the side of caution. In the event that the ligament(s) are injured beyond a certain extent, surgery may be necessary for complete recovery.

During the recovery period, your primary goal should be to protect the injured MCL by minimizing strain on it. This will help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. It is important to avoid activities that worsen your pain, but you should not stop moving altogether. Short, frequent walks on flat ground are recommended, but you should listen to your body and avoid activities that cause pain.

In addition, you should avoid sitting for extended periods of time as this can cause your knee to become stiff and movement more painful. Once your pain has decreased, you can gradually resume your normal daily activities and athletic pursuits. It is best to work with a clinician to guide your return to sport rehab plan. You can get started with a conservative MCL sprain exercise program, which can be found at the bottom of this page. If any exercise or activity causes pain, you should stop or reduce the intensity.

NOTE: The 4-phase program below is only for mild MCL sprains with no significant swelling or instability. When in doubt, always consult a clinician.

PHASE 1 | DAY 1-3

Goal: 25% Reduction in Pain

This phase is to jump start your recovery. Perform your exercise program 4 times per day. Twice in the morning, and twice in the afternoon. We want a noticeable improvement in pain levels by day 3. We know this can be difficult with busy schedules, but it's for a short time and necessary to promote a successful recovery.

DAY 3: If the pain worsens consider consulting a clinician. Otherwise, proceed to Phase 2.

PHASE 2 | DAY 4-7

Goal: 50% Reduction in Pain

This phase is about maintaining the momentum from Phase 1. Reduce your exercise frequency to 3 times per day. Keep at least one session in the morning or afternoon. The exercises should start to feel easier and automatic.

DAY 7: You should see significant relief by the end of this phase. If not, consider consulting a clinician or trying an option from the joint tools section (meds, e-stim etc.)

PHASE 3 | DAY 7-14

Goal: 75% Reduction in Pain

This phase is about consistency and slowly resuming normal activities. Perform your exercises 2 times per day. Perform one session of either walking or athletic activities (light jogging, cycling etc) at 25-50% normal intensity. No cutting activities. Let pain be your guide, if it hurts, back off!

DAY 14: You should feel markedly better and confidently on the path to recovery.

PHASE 4 | DAY 14-30+

Goal: 95% Reduction in Pain

This phase is about transitioning to a maintenance program and finalizing your recovery. Reduce your exercise frequency to 1-2 times per day. Keep building on your functional and athletic activity levels. You can begin to push your knee a little harder each day, but once again, let your body be your guide. Any doubts at all, consult a clinician. Congratulations on your self-driven recovery!

If you require additional guidance or help returning to full athletic levels, we recommend going directly to a physical therapist. Access options have exploded in recent years with therapists who come to your home or virtually.

 

If you have thoughts on how we can improve Physiobot, please let us know!

PAIN TOOLS

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Let's be clear - therapeutic exercise and activity modification are your best bet. But everyone asks us about these joint tools and "if they work." To be honest, it's a tricky question. Results vary significantly person-to-person, and supporting evidence varies product-to-product. So, we did a clinical evidence review for each category. We were surprised by some of the findings.

MASSAGE GUNS

Clinical Evidence: Good(+)

Percussive massage devices use rapid, repetitive strokes to target deep muscle tissue.

Massage Gun Evidence & Review

ICE VS HEAT

Clinical Evidence: Strong

Evidence suggests ice can be useful immediately after a sprain occurs to reduce pain and swelling. Heat tends to be best for muscle soreness.

MEDICATIONS

Clinical Evidence: Strong

Our literature review indicates a combination of NSAID topical cream and oral acetaminophen is a reasonable first strategy to consider. 

Knee Meds Evidence & Review

KNEE BRACES

Clinical Evidence: Fair(+)

The right knee brace can add support, reduce pain, and help you remain active.

Knee Brace Evidence & Review

E-STIM UNITS

Clinical Evidence: Fair

E-stim units are a drug-free, pain relief option. New models allow for easy home use.

E-Stim Evidence & Review

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NEXT LEVEL CARE

Joint Care. On Your Terms.

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Knee care is often severely delayed due to the barriers of time, travel, and cost. These delays can have life-long consequences on recovery. To overcome this challenge, new options have become available that bring evidence-based care to you.

HANDS-ON CARE, BROUGHT TO YOU

An expert Physical Therapist will evaluate you in person, at home or work. Insurance accepted. Learn More

100% VIRTUAL KNEE PAIN CARE

The next generation of joint care is here. Built for ease of use and accessibility. Learn More

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YOUR EXERCISES

Exercises

Selected based on your condition match and care profile

Stretches

Hold for 45-60 seconds

1-2 repetitions per session

Perform on each side

Strengthening

10-15 repetitions per set

1 set per session

Perform on each side

 - Consult with a physician prior to trying new exercises -

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Range of Motion

This exercise methodically and safely addresses tightness and range-of-motion restrictions.

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Short Arc Quads

This exercise methodically and safely addresses tightness and range-of-motion restrictions.

DID YOU KNOW?

Physiobot has no investors or marketing budget.

We grow solely through users like you spreading the word!

P.S. Don't forget to save your guide for later.

Hamstrings Firing

This exercise is a simple way to help you bend your knee better when walking.

Quad Strength

The quadriceps are key for knee stability with walking and running. When weak, pain and instability occur.

Gluteus Medius

This muscle is located on the outer hip. Research shows strengthening the gluteus medius is key to reducing knee pain.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Because laughter heals

What kind of knee does Pinocchio have? 

Wooden you like to know.

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