Knee hyperextension is a very common knee injury. Although almost all cases are fairly painful, the severity of the condition dictates how debilitating it is and how long it takes to correct the injury. Anyone can experience hyperextension; however, it is most common in athletes who tend to put a lot of pressure on the kneecap and the surround ligaments while running, changing direction, tackling, etc.
Hyperextension occurs when the knee joint is forced to go beyond its regular range of motion. When this transpires, there is an added amount of pressure and stress put on one or multiple ligaments around the knee, including the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
If you’re not sure if you have hyperextension, you may notice signs of swelling, instability, and sharp pains in the affected area. Other symptoms of knee hyperextension include limited mobility, water on the knee, and bruising. To correct the problem, there are quite a few things you can do to correct the problem. Consider the options suggested to correct knee hyperextension:
For minor knee hyperextension, the common treatment practiced includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Individuals will want to monitor the area and practice R.I.C.E for 2-4 weeks, while also avoiding any kind of contact sports and aggressive movements that could re-injure the area.
Aside from R.I.C.E, it is also important to visit your doctor soon after a hyperextension injury. Because there are varying levels of severity in this injury, a doctor will be able to tell you what you need to do to correct the hyperextension or if you will need surgery to repair any damage. For more serious tears, recovery will be much longer, so it’s important to consider the practices suggested to shorten the recovery time.
Bracing the knee is a great option for correcting the problem of hyperextension, and bracing can also help protect the area and support it during recovery. Many individuals with serious conditions will need to invest in a knee brace for hyperextension, which will help to keep the knee in place and offer comfort and cushion to the surrounding areas.
Wearing a knee brace during sports and activities may help to prevent knee hyperextension from ever occurring. If you are prone to having weak knees or simply want to avoid injury, a knee brace is a great way to keep the knee bones, ligaments, and muscles protected and cushioned.
Knee hyperextension may be corrected by completing daily or weekly strengthening exercises, which help to correct and reinforce the area.
A straight leg raise will help to strengthen the quadriceps, which are meant to support the knee. As a result, the knee will be indirectly strengthened as well. To perform this exercise, lie down flat on your back with your injured knee lying flat. Bend the opposite knee at a 30-degree angle, and, using your core muscles, try to lift the hyperextended leg. Only go as high as a 45-degree angle, then lower the leg. Perform this leg lift 10-15 times to strengthen the quadriceps.
Step-ups are another great exercise that can help to increase the range of motion in the hyperextended knee. To do this exercise, stand in front of a stool or stair with legs slightly bent. Lifting your injured knee, step onto the stool and press down firmly. Keeping the knee over the ankle, begin to press through your heel to stand up on the stool.
Lower back down and repeat the exercise as many times as you can without discomfort or fatigue.
Other practices that will help to rehabilitate and correct a hyperextended knee include doing wall sits, swimming, biking, and hamstring stretches. Be sure, if you are going through physiotherapy and rehabilitation, that you work with a physiotherapist who knows how to work specifically with knee hyperextension.
Correcting hyperextension can also be done by being diligent about daily stretching routines. Stretching helps to warm up and lengthen the muscles, while also increasing flexibility. All athletes should be diligent about their warm-up and stretching routines, as these activities are very important to keeping the body healthy and helping it to avoid injury.
If you’re experiencing pain, swelling, and other discomforts in your knee, you may be going through knee hyperextension. While this injury is common, it’s important to start the rehabilitation process quickly, to ensure that the injury does not worsen. Consider the information listed to aid in the healing process of knee hyperextension.