One common question we get in ACL rehab is what to do when your knee swells up.
Check out these 4 strategies to help attack your knee swelling so you can get back to rehab and training as soon as you can. Pay extra attention to #1. This one is often times the culprit.
✅ 4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR KNEE SWELLING ✅
1️⃣ Load Management – you might be doing too much too soon. Adjust your training and volume to a level that your knee doesn’t get swollen. Example: running 3 miles creates swelling but it’s fine at 1-2 miles. Stay at this a little while longer. Add smaller increments as you progress (0.25-0.5 miles instead of 1 mile). Use 24 hours as a feedback loop to see if what you did the day before is making it better, worse, or the same. If it’s worse, do less.
2️⃣ Compression – you can find a cheap compression knee sleeve on amazon or use an ace wrap to give the knee a nice hug, push fluid out the joint, and minimize fluid getting into the joint.
3️⃣ Elevation – use gravity to assist you by elevating your leg above your heart level so we can push that fluid back towards your heart. Gravity is your friend until it’s not.
4️⃣ Active Recovery – Prioritize your recovery days and know when to push hard and to ease off the gas (high/low days). Use movement to push fluid out. After ACL reconstruction, ankle pumps are often prescribed to help use the muscle as a pump to assist with fluid and blood circulation since you’re more immobile. Maybe adding in some low-level aerobic work on a bike may help to drive some better circulation and fluid out of the joint. If you go overboard here, see #1.
Check out this podcast episode for a deep dive on this topic: