Knee Relief: After injuring my knee last year, I've noticed that the joint tends to swell after a long day of hiking. In addition to taking Advil and icing for relief, what exercises can I do to help my knee recover?
Submitted by - C.B., Bulger, PA
First and foremost, if you injured your knee, you should get it evaluated by someone other than a guy writing a medical advice column. You need to have a physician take an up close and personal look. Advil (ibuprofen) and ice, however, can be used without risk–and may prove of benefit–as long as you follow the directions on the label of the drug and apply ice no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you can do leg extensions with weights (sitting and extending your leg from dangling to almost straight out from your hip), you can improve the strength of your knee–as long as you can do the exercises without knee pain. Use a weight that will allow you to do 20-30 repetitions, and do three sets of reps–every day, if you can. It is, remember, of utmost importance that you not injure your knee further until an expert has evaluated it.