Ligament tissue connects bone to bone and provides much of the support needed to stabilize joints such as the ankle, shoulder and knee. A sprained knee is one of the most common sports injuries. The entire weight of the body is carried by the knees when walking or running; acting as a hinge between the upper and lower leg bones as well as providing torsion movement for pivoting makes the knee joint one of the most complex joints in the body.
Knee sprains are among the most common sports injuries. Usually this occurs because of an awkward fall or a quick change in direction that exceeds the knees normal range of motion.
There are four main ligaments in the body, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL). It is possible to damage more than one in a single incident but there are differing treatments for each.
The MCL is one of the more commonly injured ligaments in the body. When the leg is hit from on the outside, such as in football, the knee bends inward and buckles causing the ligament to stretch or tear. Upon injuring your knee, minor stretching or tears may not be noticed until swelling and bruising appear hours later, but more serious tears or full ruptures will make the knee unstable and difficult to walk on. For most people the ligament will heal itself, but depending on the severity of the sprain, surgery may be necessary. Most commonly people experience grade 1 and 2 sprains requiring mild rehab while recovery from a grade 3 sprain or surgery requires intensive and involved physiotherapy.
Treatment for ligament sprains is aimed at reducing inflammation, scar tissue and pain. In the injuries initial stages it is important to reduce the swelling in the area and to control the pain as much as you can. The RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) method has long been a tried and true treatment for sprains. The best way to heal is to reduce swelling and rest the knee, the RICE method facilitates this as well as a quicker healing time. Our cold compression wraps allow you to actively treat yourself using the RICE method.