Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/knees


Hi Ms Katz
I pulled MCLs in both my knees two years ago. They are still not fully healed.
I have noticed that any exercise that puts weight on my knees leaves them sore, while something like swimmimg or biking actually relieves the pain.
Why is that? Is the weightless peddling motion stretching them back out or something?
I am 53 and healing is slow for some people according to my doctor. When and if can I expect full recovery?
Also, do you know anything about the herb 'cissus quadrangelis' for ligament and tendon healing?

Hi Bob,

It's a good sign that swimming and biking help your knees.  The difficult part of answering your question is not knowing the severity of the degree of sprain in the MCLs.  2 years is more than enough time for milder sprains and even sometimes moderate sprains to heal.  I suspect your pain may be part of a bigger picture of how the knees are now working in sequence with the functioning of your ankles and hips.  I find that many pain issues can be resolved with attention to the whole chain of movement patterns.

Injured ligaments may heal shorter and tighter.  But, if the sprain is significant, you may heal and be looser due to loss of ligament bulk and length distortions.  So, that makes it hard to say for sure what the relationship is from the swimming and biking to improved comfort.

I suggest having a PT look at you, and have them do a thorough job of paying attention to all the joints of your legs.  Their help should speed up your return to normal.

I don't have any info for you on the herb.

You can see if your knees do better with attention to foot and ankle function by an exercise I have posted at this link:


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Rachel Katz, PT, SEP


I have expertise working with recovery from car accidents, RSD/CRPS, neck and back pain and chronic pain. I can answer questions about pain that is not responding to expected patterns of recovery. I can address pain issues that are associated with traumatic events, and veteran associated pain issues. If you have had abuse or periods of significant stress in your life, your pain issues may be more complicated. I authored A Consumer Guide for Recovery from Car Accidents which discusses many aspects of injury recovery as all as specific detail about PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and protective involuntary muscle spasm. The link is: I can't answer questions regarding pain medications, or some specifics related to surgical interventions.


I have over 30 years experience as a Physical Therapy clinician. I taught swimming in Michigan and skiing in Aspen. I have experience in analyzing movement patterns and muscle control. I treat all areas of pain in the body including headaches, neck pain, back pain, shoulder injuries, plantar fasciitis, nerve compression, and knee pain. I have had personal experience with chronic pain, RSD, car accident injuries, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Muscle spasm and pain is a common component of injury and response to traumatic stress. Posture patterns and habits of how your body is often used can also contribute to pain. Restoration of movement and the senses that enable you to feel it are key. Rachel developed and implemented a stress reduction program for inmates within the Boulder County jail's drug and alcohol recovery program in 2005-2006 based on trauma healing principles from Dr. Peter Levine.

Rachel holds a BS in PT from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She has over 30 years experience as a clinician. She has over 1500 hours of post graduate continuing education in many Manual Therapy and Exercise approaches. She completed her training in Somatic Experiencing under Dr. Peter Levine in 2000. This 3 year program trains therapists in treating traumatic stress conditions. Rachel has developed a body of work integrating her training and unique insights into complex pain issues. She is the developer and instructor for Sensory-Motor Manual Therapy, which is a State approved 2 day work shop for Massage Therapists through the Boulder College of Massage Therapy.

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