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Dealing with Injury

If you do get injured to recover properly and to maintain a healthy range of motion you should take steps immediately to treat the joint. Rehabilitating an injury is similar to the postoperative recovery process with the purpose of compensating for a patient's deficits with physical movement to improve the injured area. It's important to:

man grabbing his own knee in park, knee injury appears to be painful  Soccer player applied ice to am injured knee for pain

Ice and Rest the Injury: Within the first 24 hours the injury should be iced to reduce swelling and inflammation, helping the injury heal faster. Ice should be used on an injury for 15-20 minutes, then remove for 15-20 minutes to allow the injury to warm up before another ice therapy. Do not put the ice directly on the skin, wrap it up to protect the skin from extreme temperature which also allows your therapy to last longer without interruption.

RICE Acronym on chalkboard: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation written in chalk

R Rest avoid overexertion or weight bearing on the injured body part.
I Ice apply cold to the injury.
C Compression a pply compression to the injury to reduce swelling and provide some support.
E Elevation e levate the injured area above the level of the heart (about even with the lower portion of the breast) to help drain the area of excessive fluid accumulation.
 

Strengthen: Strengthening the muscles that support the joint will reduce the stress placed on that joint. Strong active muscles help your joint absorb shock by protecting it from excessive pressure. Those who live an inactive lifestyle are just as much at risk of developing arthritis than those who are extremely active because of the weight bearing stress on the joints during daily activities from a lack of muscle strength to protect the joints.

Flexibility: Stretching the muscles that you strengthen is important to maintain range of motion(ROM) and prevent injury. Gently stretching post strength training can help reduce muscle soreness and keep your muscles long and flexible for effective protection from joint injury.

Some good exercises for stretching out the hip, groin and knees and preventing further injury are:

Young man & Woman on yoga mats performing abductor stretches floor before exercise  man and woman performing a lunge, stretching exercise in a green park.jpg

  • Abductor Stretch Sitting: This stretches the short groin muscles which does not cross the knee joint. First, sit on the floor with the groin muscles stretched and the soles of the feet together. Apply a downward force from the elbows, until the stretch is felt high up in the groin without feeling pain. Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times.

 

  • Abductor Stretch Standing: This exercise mainly stretches the long groin muscles which runs from the pelvis down to the knee. Stand in a wide stance. Bend the right knee and lean to the right side, keeping the left leg straight. Bend until you feel a stretch in the straight leg. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

 

  • Bent Leg Hip Flexion: Lay on your back with one knee bent. Raise the knee towards the body keeping it slightly bent. Return to starting position. Repeat 2-3 times on each leg.

 

  • Clam Exercise: Lay on your side and rest your head on your arms or hands. Bend hips to approximately 45 degrees and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Make sure one hip is lying above the other, you should now be wellaligned. Take a deep breath in, while exhaling set your core muscles. Inhale and whilst exhaling, float your upper leg upwards while keeping your feet in contact with one another. Inhale, and as you exhale return the upper leg back down to the bottom leg. Repeat 5-10 times each leg. If done correctly you should feel the muscles at the back of the hip bone working hard.
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