Regardless the cause of runner’s knee, the good news is, most cases will heal on their own with proper self care. To speed up the recovery time, many doctors will probably recommend different things depending on the severity of your case, but most all will recommend you go home and do the following simple things.
1) Rest up. Keep your body weight off the injured knee. Ever heard the expression, “put your feet up and relax?” Well, I am telling you to do just that. You would be surprised how many injuries heal with just a little rest. So, kickback, indulge in a little bad reality TV and sip on a milkshake.
2) Ice. While you are resting, apply ice to your knee. This will encourage healing and keep the swelling down. During your first few days out of commission, try applying it 3 to 4 times a day. Once the pain and swelling start to subside, you can ease off the ice.
3) Once you rest up and are ready to apply some weight to your knee, try using an elastic bandage to support your knee. They are sold just about everywhere, and always in a pharmacy. They provide support to your knee that it may be lacking due to the injury. the more help your kneecap can get, the faster you can recover.
4) And last but not least, stretch and strengthen. It is imperative to speak to your doctor about when the right time is to take this step. If you get back into the swing of things too quickly, you are setting yourself up to re-injure yourself. Make sure to go over all your symptoms you are still having, if any, and what your concerns are if you are still feeling pain by just bearing weight on your knee.
Like any injury, time is of the essence. Every person dealing with this injury will recover at a different speed. However, when attempting to get back into the swing of things, consider the idea of no to low impact activities (i.e. swimming) to avoid too much weight on your knees too soon. Be patient, and respect your injury and the time it needs to make a full recovery. The health of your joints greatly reflects the health of your overall body, so keep that in mind the next time you are pounding the pavement with a nagging pain that you think will miraculously disappear on its own.