Recovering from a Minor Knee Sprain

56/365 morning run
morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

If you run regularly – especially if you run outside – at some point, you may trip over a crack in a sidewalk or slip on wet pavement. Taking a spill while running can cause you to overextend and tear the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in your knee. This results in a sprain, which can be quite painful and sideline you from exercise.

After the injury occurs, you’ll probably notice some swelling, followed by bruising a few days later. In severe cases, you may feel like your knee is going to give out. In serious cases, you may need to consult a physician or a sports medicine specialist, as surgery is sometimes required to repair complete tendon ruptures.

Minor sprains usually don’t require medical intervention. Consider using this rehab plan to get you back on the road to recovery.

Left knee-joint from behind, showing interior ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acute Treatment for Knee Minor Sprains

Immediately following the injury, place ice on your injured knee for 20 minutes every four hours. Using a circular motion, gently massage the front, back, inner and outer portions of your knee using your thumb.


To increase blood flow and oxygen to the inured joint, do some simple exercises. These will allow you to regain range of motion and strength in your knee.

Range-of-Motion Exercises

Point your toes straight ahead and sit with your feet flat on the floor, Gently press your foot of your injured leg into the floor. Keep your heel stationary and move your toes out, away from your leg. This will release the MCL. Bring your toes back to center. Then move your toes inward to release your LCL. Repeat each movement 10 times.

Strength Exercises

Sit in a chair with your injured leg close to a wall. Swivel your toes out, push them into the wall for a few seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Next, turn your toes in so they touch your other foot. Apply pressure to your other foot for a few seconds, release and repeat 10 times.


To prevent new sprains, make sure you stretch appropriately before running or exercising. Lie on your side and bend your upper leg to 90 degrees. Move your upper foot’s toes toward the ceiling and back to center. Repeat 10 times and then repeat on the other leg.

If a sprained knee continues to be painful when you run, consider wearing a knee brace to offer support and alleviate discomfort.

Written by The Brace Shop

The Brace Shop is the fastest growing online orthopedic brace store in the USA. Since 1995, the Brace Shop has sold braces and other extremity products to millions of satisfied customers.

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  1. Reply

    Thank you for this article, this helps a lot. To know more about knee sprain, click here. You may also explore our website, The Knee Pain Guru to know more about knee pain management.

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