You banged your knee at the last big game. Not a problem, right? Sure, it’s a little sore, but it’s nothing you can’t deal with. You try to go on with your normal routine, but there’s a problem. The soreness doesn’t let up. Resting and applying ice packs doesn’t stop the swelling around the joint from coming back. Your knee starts to feel wobbly and unstable. You don’t understand why the pain keeps getting worse; the game was a week ago, and now it’s hard to walk.
The problem most likely lies in your PCL, or posterior cruciate ligament. This is the ligament that runs along the back of your knee and prevents your tibia from moving back too far.
Injuries to the PCL are different from injuries to the ACL. Unlike the ACL, you won’t feel or hear a pop when the PCL is injured, and PCL injuries are more often than not written off as minor issues. If a PCL injury goes untreated, it can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee, and many people have not sought treatment because they believed it would heal itself with some rest and relaxation.
At home, you can treat a PCL injury by compressing your knee with ACE bandages or investing in a stabilizing knee brace for support, icing your knee for short periods of time (20 minute intervals often work best), elevating your knee whenever possible, and resting it as much as you can. You can also take over the counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, to reduce swelling and ease the ever-present ache.
The exercise often recommended for those with knee injuries focuses less on the joint and more on the muscles around it. The stronger your supporting muscles are, the better equipped they are to stabilize your knee. A physical therapist may focus on your quad muscle when treating you for knee pain. Your therapist may also do some range of motion movement exercises with you.
If you catch your injury early and seek the proper treatment, you’ll be sure to be back on the field in no time!
We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montgomery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Liberty. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona. If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County. Give us a call today!