The knee is the largest joint on the human body, and it is also the most used. Your knees take a pounding throughout your lifetime, and almost everyone suffers from a sprained or strained knee at some point in their lives.
Whether you fall awkwardly or jar your knee, spraining or straining the knee joint is a common occurrence.
A sprain is a stretching of the ligaments that join your bones together. This can be debilitating, and of course, very painful. If you suffer from a second or third degree sprain, which involves different degrees of tearing of the ligaments, you can lose your mobility altogether. Sprains can take weeks to heal, and in some cases, physical therapy is needed to gain back all of the movement you had before you suffered a sprained knee. If the knee sprain is severe enough, you may have to undergo surgery to correct the problem.
Strains on the other hand are different, although it sounds a lot like a sprain. Strains, are injuries that involve muscles or tendons; not ligaments. (In this case, we would be still reviewing how it relates to your knee.) Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones. Depending on the level of severity of the injury, a strain maybe a simple overstretch of the tendon or muscle involved, or you may be suffering from a partial or complete tear.
A grade 1,2, or 3 is associated to levels of strains, as is found with sprains. A grade 1 strain is more mild and involves the damage of some muscle fibers. As a result, healing can occur in two to three weeks, unless you reinjure your knee. Supporting your knee in this time period would be a good idea. In a grade 2 strain, there is moderate damage to the muscle or tendon, although it is not completely ruptured. This healing process is longer and can take up to 3-6 weeks. Lastly, in a grade 3 strain, there is a more severe injury and involves a complete rupture. The healing period might take up to three months and may include the need for surgery. Tendons usually do not heal as quickly because they have a more poor blood supply, compared to other tissues in the body. As mentioned earlier, if you have sprained or strained your knee, you should highly consider the use of a well designed knee brace for supportive reasons. More on this later,…
Some symptoms of a knee sprain or strain include:
Swelling Loss of mobility in the knee joint
A grating sound
A bulge that was not there before
If you are a sports enthusiast, there is no need to quit sports in order to prevent a knee sprain from occurring. Instead, you could simply try wearing a knee brace. Nothing is perfect, but a well designed knee brace can definately help!
People will often times think that there is a certain knee brace called a “football knee brace” or a “basketball knee brace”, but these are just the sports that people can use knee braces for. Many different knee supports can be used while you are participating in sports. For example, if you need a “sports knee brace”, this brace should be used in conjunction with the injury that you have, or one you are trying to prevent. (In other words look to your knee pain, and then secondly to the sport you play) Knee braces can help to support the knee, and prevent injuries from occuring. They are fairly inexpensive, if you go to the right provider, and they can be found online. (One valuable piece of information is that you should look for online brace companies that can back up what they are talking about. Most do not have the credentials to speak upon knee braces at all! – Please, we would love it if you prove us wrong).)
Weight lifters also use knee braces quite a bit. It is only logical, since you weight lifters are usually asking their bodies to lift above usual work loads. With almost any exercise that weight has to be carried, a knee brace can be a logical conclusion.