If any of my friends are planning on getting married soon, please be advised that whilst I will be delighted and utterly honoured to share your day with you (assuming I’m invited!), I will be buying the longest maxi dress I can find, and wearing my hiking boots underneath it!
With a stout pair of either walking shoes or boots it appears that I can walk & scramble over an assortment of terrain in varying conditions – mud, ice etc and mostly stay upright and facing in the correct direction, but apparently I am incapable of stepping off a low curb onto a flat car park surface in heels. Instead I land knee first, in an undignified heap, with my lower leg twisted back up underneath me. My only saving grace was that no-one (allegedly) witnessed my clumsiness, and I could sit there and assess the damage before deciding that none of my limbs were broken or missing, and working out the least painful way of standing up. Whilst feeling sorry for myself, and assessing my badly grazed knee for gravel, a dear friend did come to my rescue with a tube of Savlon, and another friend gave me Nurofen for the inevitable swelling. I haven’t had grazed knees since my school days, and I’m going to find it REALLY hard not to start picking the scabs when they form! My knee wasn’t happy, the joint hurt when I moved, and stiffened up if I stayed still too long. Stopping the knee from seizing up during the rest of the day, whilst trying to move my leg in the least painful way, was a very fine balancing act, and I’m not sure I mastered it really.
The following day it probably would have been sensible to rest my knee and do all those things that common sense tells you would be favourable for not aggravating an extremely sore sprained knee. However, I had free tickets to a music festival, a festival that I have been wanting to go to for years. So I gulped down the painkillers and anti-inflammatories, and spent the day walking around a huge festival site and trying to dance on one leg.
The day after that my poor leg finally got to spend the day elevated on a cushion, whilst I played ‘fetch & carry’ with the husband all day long! Loungeing about all day is incredibly thirsty work and it is amazing how much tea you can drink!
My knee is feeling a lot more mobile now and improving daily, but I tried going for a walk yesterday and after only 20 minutes my knee was feeling really hot. An odd sensation, not painful as such, but it just didn’t feel right. So I turned back and went home slowly. Today my knee is clearly telling me it doesn’t wish to go walking just yet.
This is the longest I’ve gone without some sort of meaningful exercise since January, and I am all but climbing the walls with frustration at not being able to do anything. The weather is fantastic – dry but not too hot – and I am dying to get back up into the Slieve Blooms for an amble, its been so long since I had a clear weekend to plan anything!
And so I find myself searching the t’internet for advice on how to deal with minor knee sprains.
Disclaimer: Obviously, if my pain/mobility had got worse or shown no improvement I would have gone to visit my GP and not self-diagnosed myself!
Here is what I should have done…
(taken from http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Knee-Injury-Ligament-Injury.htm)
For the first 48-72 hours think of:
- Paying the PRICE – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation; and
- Do no HARM – No Heat, Alcohol, Running or Massage.
Paying the PRICE:
- P rotect your injured knee from further injury.
- R est your affected knee for 48-72 hours following injury. Consider the use of crutches to keep the weight off your injured knee. However, many doctors say that you should actually not keep your injured knee immobile for too long. You can usually start some exercises to help keep your knee joint moving and mobile as soon as you can tolerate the exercises without them causing too much pain. You can ask your doctor when you can start to move your knee joint and what exercises you should do.
- I ce should be applied as soon as possible after your knee injury for 10-30 minutes. Less than 10 minutes has little effect. More than 30 minutes may damage the skin. Make an ice pack by wrapping ice cubes in a plastic bag or towel. (Do not put ice directly next to skin as it may cause ice-burn.) A bag of frozen peas is an alternative. Gently press the ice pack on to your injured knee. The cold from the ice is thought to reduce blood flow to the damaged ligament. This may limit pain and inflammation. After the first application, some doctors recommend reapplying for 15 minutes every two hours (during day time) for the first 48-72 hours. Do not leave ice on while asleep.
- C ompression with a bandage will limit swelling, and help to rest your knee joint. A tubular compression bandage can be used. Mild pressure that is not uncomfortable or too tight, and does not stop blood flow, is ideal. A pharmacist will advise on the correct size. Remove before going to sleep. You may be advised to remove the bandage for good after 48 hours. This is because the bandage may limit movement of the joint which should normally be moving more freely after this time. However, bandages of the knee are sometimes kept on for longer to help keep swelling down and to keep the affected knee more comfortable. Ask your doctor what is best in your case.
- E levation aims to limit and reduce any swelling. For example, keep your foot on the affected side up on a chair when you are sitting. It may be easier to lie on a sofa and to put your foot on some cushions. When you are in bed, put your foot on a pillow. The aim is that your affected knee should be above the level of your heart.
Avoid HARM for 72 hours after injury. That is, avoid:
- H eat – for example, hot baths, saunas, heat packs. Heat has the opposite effect on the blood flow to ice. That is, it encourages blood flow. So, heat should be avoided when inflammation is developing. However, after about 72 hours, no further inflammation is likely to develop and heat may then be soothing.
- A lcohol drinks, which can increase bleeding and swelling and decrease healing.
- R unning or any other form of exercise which may cause further damage.
- M assage, which may increase bleeding and swelling. However, as with heat, after about 72 hours, gentle massage may be soothing.
Surprisingly, there’s not a single mention of “spend the next day walking for 12 hours around a festival field”!
I’m looking forward to trying another short walk over the weekend, which is a total revelation to me! I never thought I would ever get this twitchy and anxious about not being able to exercise.
- Manic Monday: Managing Knee Pain (sneakerporndiaries.com)
- What Type of Doctor Should you See for Knee Pain? (betterdoctor.com)
- Sore Hips, Sore Knees Benefit from Foam Rolling and Exercise (feelingfitafterfifty.wordpress.com)
- Preventing Injuries for Football – Knee Injuries (makovickapt.wordpress.com)