You go for a run and halfway you feel a slight pain in your knee. The next morning it feels a bit stiff, but not too painful. The next day you go out for a run again, but even before halfway you feel your knee again. You head home, disappointed and decide to rest for a week. The following week the knee feels fine and you start your run hopeful. You realise at the halfway point that your pain in the knee isn’t gone. It is still there. You start to wonder ‘should I see a physiotherapist? Or maybe a sports physio?’
With an acute (sports-)injury, like a sprained ankle, it is clear you can’t continue with running. But with a dormant injury it is more difficult.
Inflammation and how to overcome it
If you have signs of inflammation, like pain, redness, swelling, an increase in temperature and/or decreased function, it is wise to stop your sport activities. In the first 48 hours, the RICE principles should be applied; Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. In the next 10 days (the phase that follows the inflammation phase is the proliferation phase and this phase lasts approximately 10 days) you try to use your extremity as normal as possible for daily life activities. After this period the signs of inflammation should have completely disappeared. The next phase of the healing will start, the early remodeling phase (10 till 21 days). You can try to build up sports activities again, starting with low impact. In the late remodeling phase, which starts after 3 to 6 weeks and can last up to a year! It is important to restart to use the extremity is the desired function. Since in this phase the connective tissue will build up its strength depending on the load you place upon it.
Find the root cause of your injury
It is important to know the cause of your sports injury (knee injury) to find the solution. How about your running shoes? Are they old and worn out? Did you build up the run in a smart way? Or did you not run for 6 months and just restarted your old pace and distance without building it up? In a normal situation our body should be able to heal itself because of the earlier described phases of wound healing. But maybe something is obstructing the healing process, causing repetitive strain on the injured tissues and therefore preventing it from healing. Maybe you have tight, or weak muscles? Or a misalignment? These are issues your sports therapist can help you with.
The physiotherapists from The Moving Body will do a full assessment and after which give you advice on the best treatment. Depending on the cause of the injury and the severity of the symptoms you have, the physio might have to see you again for several sessions. A sports physio will always give you a clear explanation and a time frame when you should be able to return to sports. Because, in the end, that’s what it’s is all about… When can I resume my sports again?!