Stretching & Flexibility/Knees and MCL Injury

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Question
Brad
I pulled MCLs in both my knees a year 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 59 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?
Thanks!

Answer
Hi Bob,

Thanks for your inquiry. It's a pleasure to help and I hope the following is beneficial.

Depending on the severity of an MCL injury, they can take quite a while to heal. In fact, if the injury is quite bad they can only be fixed by surgery.

Any weight bearing exercise will aggrevate them, so do your best to avoid running, squats, heavy weight lifting, etc.

The swimming and biking (or any non weight bearing activity) will help because gentle movement promotes blood flow and the joints production of synovial fliud (lubricant), which in turn helps to speed up recovery. So keep up with the non weight bearing activity.

2 other suggestions: Put heat on and around your knees as often as you can, this also helps to promote blood flow. And work on increasing the strength of the muscle groups around your knees (quads, hamstrings, groin, calves) with other non weight bearing exercises.

There's more information in the article below. Just be aware that the treatment information in the article refers to the first 48 to 72 hours after an MCL injury, which doesn't really apply to you...
http://injuryfix.com/archives/medial-collateral-ligament.php

I hope the above has been helpful. For more information on stretching, flexibility and sports injury management, visit Injury Fix.


Brad Walker
Founder & CEO
Injury Fix and
The Stretching Institute

Stretching & Flexibility

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Brad Walker (The Stretch Coach)

Expertise

I'm more than happy to answer any questions relating to stretching, flexibility and sports injury management. Including how to use stretching to improve your athletic performance, prevent sports injury and aid in the recovery of sports injury.

Experience

I'm an internationally recognized stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years of practical experience in the health and fitness industry. I'm also the founder of the Stretching Institute and StretchCoach.com.

Organizations
Sports Medicine Australia

Publications
I've written 5 books on stretching, flexibility and sports injury, including... The Stretching Handbook (ISBN: 978-0958109338), The Anatomy of Stretching (ISBN: 978-1556435966) and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries (ISBN: 978-1556436666). Plus, I've had numerous articles published at About.com, Athletes.com and BodyBuilding.com.

Education/Credentials
I'm a health science graduate of the University of New England, with post graduate accreditation's in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. I've worked with elite level and world champion athletes and I've lectured for Sports Medicine Australia on sports injury prevention and treatment.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked as assistant coach to Miles Stewart (World Champion Triathlete) and Mick Doohan (World 500cc Motorcycle Champion). Plus I've worked with countless other athletes from sports as diverse as roller-skating, squash, and cycling.

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