written by Matthew Henderson, Physical Therapist
First you need to understand our main objective: Reducing strain on the joint. This will allow inflammation to settle down and the healing process to being.
TAKE IT EASY
With that in mind, minimize activities that exacerbate your pain (running, squats etc.) Don't worry, this isn't forever, even just a few days can go a long way to jump starting your recovery.
ICE OR HEAT?
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs (instructions on exercise link below.)
Also begin a targeted medial meniscal exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you! Just select the exercise option below.
Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can slowly cycle down as the pain diminishes.
WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within a week.
BACK IN ACTION
Once the pain eases, slowly return to your normal activities. Let pain be your guide. If it hurts, back off!
NOT IMPROVING FAST ENOUGH
Check back in and I'll connect you with a licensed physical therapist in your area.
-- Check with your doctor or local physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --
The quadriceps are located on the front of your thigh. When tight they add strain to the knee joint, particularly the meniscus and kneecap.
The hamstrings are located on the back of your knee(s). Tight hamstrings place excessive strain on the knee joint as a whole, increasing meniscal pain and irritation.
Inner Thigh Stretch
Tight adductors (inner thigh muscles) add strain to the inner knee, often leading to inflammation and pain.
Short Arc Quads
This exercise targets the end range of knee extension strength. This range often weakens following a knee injury, leading to knee buckling and pain.
This exercise builds on the previous exercise by further strengthening the VMO and remaining quadriceps musculature.
Swelling can restrict knee range of motion, decrease strength and slow the healing process. Icing combined with rest and therapeutic exercises can jump start your recovery.