(NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used if required to help manage your pain. The use of cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal your meniscus injury quicker. However, NSAIDS aren’t recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties, trigger other side effects and even inhibit the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Some health professionals have also recommended natural supplements such as Glucosamine, MSM, Chondritin, or Hyaluronic Acid to help strengthen your injured tissue.
Once the initial inflammation has decreased, you can provide pain relief and improve your knee function by alternating a cold and hot compress to increase the blood flow to the area. Gentle massage around the injured knee area or small flexing or extending knee movements (if not painful) will also help increase blood flow, oxygen, nutrients, and will prevent stiffness.
To increase your comfort and prevent further damage you may want to use a compression or stability knee brace, which will help support the area and reduce stress on the injured tissue. These braces can be used until the injury is gone or during contact/active sports for additional stability. However, they should not be worn at all times, as they can limit muscle development, cut off circulation and impede healing of your muscle tissue.
If pain and inflammation persist, you can see your physician to investigate cortisone/steroid injections or topical medications, which may help reduce swelling and inflammation.
Physical Therapy is a beneficial way to help decrease pain in the soft tissues, restore atrophied muscles and improve knee and leg strength and mobility. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the extent of your meniscus injury.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will also set up an individualized knee and leg strengthening and stretching exercise programfor you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines. Individuals will often exercise or lift weights on their own to try and build up their strength; however in doing so, they can do more damage. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is effective. For best, long-term results use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.