HYDRATE FOR BETTER HEALTH / MCL SPRAINS.

Hydrate For Better Health

We all know the importance of drinking more water in warmer months, however as the weather turns colder, it’s easy to forget to keep up your water intake. Hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly as water enhances nutrient absorption, maintains skin elasticity, and regulates pH balance. It also helps prevent muscle spasms and lubricates your joints. Getting enough water is essential to having enough energy and staying healthy.

Hydration and Treatment

If you are currently receiving treatment you might be surprised to learn that keeping properly hydrated can speed up your recovery and help you to feel better overall. One reason for this is that keeping hydrated can soften tight muscles and reduce pain. Drinking enough water also helps to minimize lactic acid buildup, which is produced by your muscles as you exercise and significantly contributes to post-exercise stiffness and soreness.

Your body is made of up to 70 percent water, and staying hydrated keeps your blood pressure within a healthy range, stabilizes body temperature, and supports kidney function. It also aids in digestion, improves mental focus, and boosts your immune system.

The benefits of hydration are huge and can greatly assist your treatment and your overall wellbeing. So for better health, don’t forget to drink more water, even though you might not feel as thirsty. For optimal results, drink pure filtered water or herbal tea.

Focus on…

MCL Sprains

WHAT IS IT?

The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, is a thickening of the fibrous capsule that surrounds the knee joint. It is located on the inside of the knee and provides stability from side to side movements, which would damage the joint. When subject to strong forces the ligament can tear, leading to pain and instability of the knee.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

MCL tears typically produce a very specific pain on the inside of your knee. In the first 48 hours after the injury the inside of the knee will appear red, hot and swollen with possible bruising. Many people report hearing a ‘pop’ or ‘clunk’ at the time of injury and may feel as though the knee is about to give way.

The knee is usually painful to put weight on and may feel unstable. This instability may be more noticable in the days following the injury, after the swelling has subsided. Some people note pain at night while lying on the painful side and with activities that involve bending the knee.

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

MCL tears can happen in a variety of ways, but the most common is where the foot is fixed and the knee is twisted inwards, usually while the knee is also bent. This can happen from something hitting the knee from the outside, such as during a rugby match when someone is tackled around knee height or when their foot comes out of their binding while wakeboarding or snowboarding.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

There are a variety of clinical tests that determine if an MCL tear is the cause of pain and the degree to which this has caused the knee to be unstable.

An MCL injury is usually graded by it’s severity from grade I to III. A grade I tear will only involve a few ligament fibres and will heal well within a few weeks. A grade II tear is more severe and will lead to some knee instability, however a grade III tear involves a complete rupture of the ligament. Grade II and III tears will usually require bracing but only in very severe cases, surgery.

More severe tears can be accompanied by other injuries such as cruciate ligament tears or meniscal tears. If either of these are suspected an MRI scan or specialist opinion may be needed.

HOW CAN THERAPY HELP?

The first 48 hours after an injury are very important and a physiotherapist can assist with first aid, advice on injury management, the use of ice, braces, taping and early exercises. Rehabilitation of MCL tears focuses on keeping the ligament safe and stable while it heals. Therapy can actually speed up the healing process with manual techniques such as massage, ultrasound and dry needling.

Major consequences of a serious knee injury are loss of muscle strength, balance and control, which can leave the knee vulnerable to reinjury. Rehabilitation aims to restore the knee to its previous state.

For more information don’t hesitate to ask your therapist.

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