You often lose strength and motion in your knee when it is painful and swollen. This can happen after injury or overuse. The exercises and tips listed below will help you decrease pain and swelling, increase range of motion, improve strength and help you return to your normal activities as soon as possible.
How to reduce pain and swelling
Rest: Avoid painful activities to give your knee time to heal. Limit your walking and other standing activities when your knee is painful or swollen. Use a cane or crutches to decrease the stress on your knee. It is best to use the cane on the opposite side of your painful knee. Use supportive shoes when you are standing or walking.
Ice & Elevation: Place a cold pack on your knee with a thin towel between your skin and the cold pack to prevent a rash or burn. Use ice 15-20 minutes, 2-4 times per day as long as your knee is warm, painful or swollen. Elevate your knee above the level of your heart to help with the pain and swelling.
Compression: If your knee is swollen, using a knee brace or wrap may help with the pain and swelling and provide support to your knee. Apply the elastic wrap loosely from your calf to right above your knee. You should be able to easily put two fingers under the wrap.
Range of Motion Exercises
It is important to begin moving your knee and ankle to prevent stiffness reduce swelling and increase circulation. Start by bringing your toes and foot towards your shin and then point your foot away 10-20 times every hour.