Stretching can help prevent knee sprains

Knee Sprain Prevention at Missouri Orthopedics

In late November, the St. Louis Blues had a scare when goaltender Brian Elliott suffered a “lower-body injury” when his leg appeared to be caught underneath him during a scramble in front of the net.

The injury would be later classified as a knee sprain by several media outlets.

A knee sprain is classified as the stretching or tearing of ligaments that support the knee, but fortunately for the Blues, Elliott didn’t need surgery which is required when the ligament is completely torn.

While Elliott was injured playing a sport, a knee sprain can happen in everyday life, such as having poor coordination and balance, inadequate flexibility and strength in muscles and ligaments, and loose joints.

According to, some of the causes of a knee sprain include forced twisting of the knee, stopping suddenly or shifting your weight while running, landing awkwardly after jumping, a blow to the outer or inner side of the knee, and a blow to the front of the knee while bent and the foot is firmly planted on the ground.

There are three grades of knee sprains and the treatments to heal a sprained knee include the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), medication, knee support such as a brace, rehabilitation exercises, and surgery.

How can you reduce the risk of spraining your knee? It’s recommend to stretch or warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards. Also, you should take a break from sports or exercise when you feel tired. Doing exercises that strengthen the leg muscles and learning proper techniques for sports and exercises will decrease the stress on the knee area.

Dr. Irvine at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine has a particular interest in treating knee pain and injuries. He performs the most advanced techniques in arthroscopy, including ACL and PCL reconstruction, and treatment of osteochondral defects.

Call us at (314) 567-5850 to schedule an appointment.

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