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Exercises for MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) Sprain

Jan 10, 2020

Injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the common causes of pain on the inside of the knee.

What causes a medial collateral ligament sprain?

A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched beyond its range of extensibility. The MCL is sprained when a force is applied on the outside of the knee when the foot is in contact with the ground. If this force is applied to a flexed knee when the foot is turned outward, this may cause the MCL to tear. This may occur through:

  • landing wrong from a jump
  • direct force on the outside of the knee e.g. rugby or football tackle
  • twisting the knee while the foot is planted
  • a sharp change of direction
  • overuse – walking, running, cycling for longer than normal

Here are some good exercises to help strengthen your muscles if you have an MCL sprain.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or email us at enquiries@physio-logical.net for advice and guidance.  All of these exercises should be pain free.

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Can Physiotherapy help?

The answer to that question is yes. In fact, only a small proportion of isolated MCL injuries will require surgical intervention. Most MCL injuries can be successfully managed by physiotherapy interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important in the management of MCL sprain in order to enhance quick recovery and return to physical activity. As soon as any unusual swelling and tenderness on the inside of the knee is experienced, one should see a physiotherapist immediately. It is also important that all physical activities that may load the MCL should be avoided until recovery is complete. Off-loading the MCL is an important part of the management MCL sprain regardless of the severity of the injury. Grade 2/3 sprains may require bracing and/or use of crutches for a while in the initial stages. As for any other musculo-skeletal injuries, ice, rest, elevation and compression should be commenced immediately following onset of symptoms.

We as physiotherapists will provide interventions that will help you:

  • relieve pain and inflammation
  • improve the mobility of the knee
  • improve strength of the muscle groups important in the normal function of the knee joint
  • improve the flexibility of the same muscle groups
  • improve movement neuro-muscular control of the lower limb through balance, agility and proprioception exercises
  • guided return to physical activities and give advice on how to avoid re-injury

Alongside exercises we can offer hands on treatment to improve joint movement and release tight muscles. Hands on physiotherapy treatments including; sports massage, mobilisation, taping, balance (proprioceptive) re-education, combined with stretching and strengthening exercises is an effective treatment for knee pain.

If you are suffering from knee pain or any other aches or pains then please get in contact with us via enquiries@physio-logical.net or 07835 712306. You can also book an appointment online via our website 24/7!

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