Tearing your meniscus cartilage in the knee can be a very painful and debilitating injury. We know this first hand, as we have a severe and a moderate tear in each knee. It does not always mean surgery is required, even when it is recommended to us by our Specialist. Read on and get down to your Sports Physiotherapist for some assistance.
Meniscus Tear Rehabilitation
In the first instance of a tear, you will need to get medical assistance for a correct diagnosis and advice for the best way forward. Treatment can involve surgery if the knee is locking or there is advanced age/activity related degeneration. Loose cartilage can be trimmed and in some advanced more costly operations, some replacement can be made (just think of some of our elite athletes especially in first division football) .
The first port of call is to reduce inflammation.
Ice 3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time across the front of the knee. Wrap a pack of frozen peas in a damp tea towel. Never ice around the entire knee. Never exceed 10 minutes of icing at a time. Repeat as much as you like, as long as the tissue has returned to its original colour and tone. If you have access to a swimming pool, water walking is great for reducing inflammation. Keep repeating until swelling subsides completely. Repeat as needed if swelling returns.
2. Tape the patella if it is suspected of mis-tracking. When the knee is injured, the quad muscles often lose their ability to anchor the patella adequately. Taping the knee cap to anchor it more medially is often a good idea. Use elastic therapeutic taping as it still allows unrestricted movement. Kinesiology taping can be used for up to 5 days at a time if no allergy is present. Remove the tape slowly and carefully to avoided irritating the skin. Aim for two weeks of taping with a couple of days off to let the skin recover when the tape is due for a change. Stop if the skin is irritated.
3. Quadriceps stretch (front of thighs)
Grab hold of your ankle, take heel to bottom and keep your knees together. Repeat for other side. Perform again for the tighter quad. Do this stretch 5 X a day for two weeks and then review. We need to keep the quad muscles supple. If you find it hard to kneel, you need to keep practising this stretch.
Hold stretches for 20 seconds. If one side feels tighter than the other, perform the stretch again on the tighter side. When you feel symmetry, perform the stretch once per side.
Only perform when warmed up later on in the day. Modify if discomfort is present and stop if there is pain. Stretches should feel comfortable. If there is any shaking, release the stretch and attempt again with less effort.
4. Strengthen the medial quad muscle with wide legged squats. Perform two sets of 10 twice a day for two weeks. Get a PT instructor to check your form if you are unsure, but aim to keep knees over the feet. A small range of movement is acceptable until you are able to get a little lower (never lower than 90 degrees however).
5. Try a single leg squat for the affected leg with a support strap to take most of your weight. Only do this if you have a strong and supportive strap/anchor. 2-5 X single leg squats once per day for two weeks.
6. If you have access to a gym, try a single leg press with the affected leg. Keep your foot flat against the platform and keep the weight very light indeed. 5-10 presses per day for two weeks, or for at least three days per week until you gain strength.
If there is pain, modify a technique or stop using the technique.
7. Practise flexing and extending the knee. Start off by sitting on a tallish stool, and straighten and then bend the knee in a slow and controlled manner. Perform 2-4 times a day for two weeks. This can be done whilst standing and holding on to a surface for support.
8. Develop your proprioception by standing on one leg for 10-20 seconds. When this is easy, try it with your eyes closed; but have something to steady you close-by, in case you lose balance. This exercise will strengthen your leg/ankle and re-develop any balance issues arising from the injury.
9. Other tips
The overall aim of the programme is to:
This combination of flexibility and strength is key to managing most injuries. After two weeks of rehab review your progress. Is there any lingering inflammation? If so, continue with the icing and water walking. Is your knee feeling more comfortable? Can you feel the quad muscle on the inner knee getting stronger? Add another set of quad squat repetitions as long as there is no increase in pain. Continue for another two weeks and then review progress again. It can take three months of rehab to get to a more functional knee position once again. Then it will be a juggling act to maintain your progress, by keeping the quad strong and flexible, and being super vigilant for any inflammation flare ups or aggravating activities. Be aware that when you do return to activity, build up slowly and carefully so that your body adapts without any issues.
Eva Evangelou, BA Hons, PGCE, Adv Diploma, ITEC & IFA Dips, is the UK Qualified Sports Massage Therapist behind Limassol Sports Massage. Being a Qualified Sports Massage Therapist has given her extensive training and experience in Injury Prevention, the Theory of Training and Injury Rehabilitation. She has been a Body Worker since 2004. Eva has run 3 full Marathons including Nicosia, Rome and the Limassol Marathon. She is usually injury free and believes that prevention via education is better than cure. She is the Author behind 'Say No! To Neck and Shoulder Pain' and she is a Qualified Teacher. Learn more about her by clicking here and contact her via email by clicking here.
Hello dear Limassol Sports Massage supporters,
The weather is characteristically windy for this time of year. One of our dear Clients gave us a chart with Coptic gale and wind storm predictions, and we due to receive three this month; which we are experiencing greatly indeed. This is not so helpful for those of us who love our outdoor sports as the air is full of dust and allergens. We are pleased that the Limassol Marathon has been moved to April this year as the wind proved prohibitive in the last few years; they even had their administration tents blow away! We continue to write for the Limassol Marathon as their partner 'Expert Writer'. You can see a selection of our sports related articles here. The Limassol Marathon is on 10th April 2016. It is a wonderful event. Do come and support the runners - all cheering and clapping makes their efforts even more rewarding. For those who would like to volunteer, send the organisers a message through their website contact page.
There is a special event aimed at Women in Limassol this weekend (March 19th/20th) at the Elias Beach Hotel. There will be two days of talks, music and exhibition tables by Women for Women for just 79 euros. A one day ticket at 49 euros is also available. If you use the code 'LimassolSportsMassage' at their website here and you will get 10% off all ticket prices. Have a look at the website for the Conference Schedule. We went last year and supported the event as Limassol Sports Massage. We donated our signature blend 'Lavender Spritz bottles' for all attendees and made a donation on behalf of Limassol Sports Massage. These events do not come up very often in Cyprus and they are a special way of reaching out to other Women on the Island and learning about their hobbies, health stories, business industries and individual success stories.
The Cyprus Ultra Marathon in Vasa Kellakiou has just announced its next big race date, which is May 20th-22nd 2017. We will be offering our services to help organise and direct the race as per usual with next year being our 6th Cyprus Ultra! We expect participants to reach the 200 threshold. Ticket sales have got off to a good start with ultra low prices for the early entries. We have many runners returning for the third time as the race has such a family feel. Plans for next year include a camp party open to all well-behaved revellers on Saturday night and activities, including field games and traditional food dishes, with a village fair theme. If anyone would like to register for the race, there are distances available to suit all levels of running, have a look here. We are also calling for Volunteers. You will be working very hard in the May heat (shady areas are available for those who need to keep out of the direct sunlight), but the work is greatly rewarding. We have Volunteers coming back for the sixth time and new Volunteers every year. If you can spare a block of 4 hours or more, or even if you want to camp out with us for the whole weekend, please get in touch on 99231970 - food and water will be provided. Having patience and a good sense of humour is a must!
Our partners V1Fitness have just launched their new self-defence Limassol training packages and we have been trying out their latest moves. Check out their webpage here and see if it is something that you or your loved one would like to do. Much of self-defence is about awareness and having the right initial response if an attack occurs - you will love the no-nonsense approach of this self-defence system and the levels of fitness it helps you achieve. Check out their new training dummy on your next visit to us! Giving this guy a bash in the face with a palm strike is a great stress release indeed! Contact Mike on 95508007 for more information and visit his website V1FITNESS.COM
There is plenty going on this Summer. Mike is offering Rollerblade Inline skating lessons at Molos for individuals and small groups. The Limassol Running Club has three runs per week with free accessibility to all. We are also planning a few walking hikes in the mountains too. Do get in touch for more information on 95508007.
We have just ordered more Kinesiology tapes which will be available in Clinic again very soon. We have also ordered the supplies for our in-house MSM Aromatherapy muscle gel and our original Aromatherapy Muscle Gel too - we shall let you know when these fresh batches are ready for sale again at 20€ and 15€ respectively. We have had great feedback about these gels -with Clients reporting pain relief and a reduction of inflammation. We are getting quite a telling off for running out of stock - one Client even threatened to try and make their own if ours were not back in stock again soon!
Our 'Say No! To Neck and Shoulder Pain' book is now available in Cyprus Libraries and will be on amazon.co.uk by the end of the month hopefully too. Sales are off to a good start - you can pick up your copy in Clinic for 10€ or online click here with PayPal (P&P fees and PayPal charges apply for online sales)
Wishing you all a good start to your Sporty Spring and see you all soon!
Eva from Limassol Sports Massage
Sports Massage Therapist, Wellness Advocate, Sports Enthusiast, Teacher, Nutritarian, Blogger, Artist and much more...