Three reasons physical therapy plans can reduce MCL sprain recovery time

MCL Sprain Recovery Time

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the major bands of connective tissue that support your knee joint. This structure helps stabilize your knee, but it can be torn from an impact injury, known as an MCL sprain. Participating in sports is a common cause of MCL sprains. Rest is important for reducing your MCL sprain recovery time; however, physical therapy offers effective techniques for reducing your recovery time from an MCL sprain. 

Are you wondering how long it’ll take to recover from an MCL sprain? Physical therapy can help reduce your recovery time and get you back on your feet with confidence. 

How long can it take to recover from an MCL sprain?

The severity of your injury will determine how long it takes to recover. There are three grades of MCL injuries that are used to rank the damage to the ligament. A grade 1 injury is relatively minor, and occurs when the ligament has only been stretched. Grade 1 injuries typically only take a few days to heal.

Grade 2 MCL injuries occur when the ligament has been torn. Grade 2 injuries are usually accompanied by increased weakness and pain in the knee joint. Depending on the extent of the tear, grade 2 injuries can take up to four weeks to completely heal. 

Grade 3 MCL injuries are the most serious, occurring when the ligament has a major tear. These injuries can take up to eight weeks or even longer to heal.

Three reasons physical therapy can reduce MCL sprain recovery time

If you sustained a grade 2 or 3 MCL injury, physical therapy might be able to reduce your recovery time. Here are three reasons why physical therapy can help:

  1. After an MCL sprain, you’ll probably avoid putting weight on your knee or moving your knee joint through its full range of motion. This can lead to weakness in your knee. However, a physical therapist can help improve the strength and flexibility of your knee through therapeutic exercises, which can help increase your joint stability sooner.
  1. Scar tissue can develop after a serious sprain, like a grade 2 or 3. Scar tissue receives less blood than normal tissues, and may prevent joints from moving properly. A physical therapist can help prevent the buildup of scar tissue with manual therapy and instrument-assisted manual therapy techniques. These techniques hasten your recovery by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation in the joint.
  1. If you’ve injured your MCL, the last thing you want to do is irritate the injury and delay your recovery time even more. By resuming certain exercises or participating in sports too soon, you can reinjure your MCL. A physical therapist can guide you with targeted strengthening techniques to prevent you from spraining your MCL again during your recovery.

Suffering from an MCL sprain? Whatcom PT can help manage your symptoms 

If you have strained your MCL, you shouldn’t ignore your symptoms. Muscling through the pain can worsen your condition. Fortunately, physical therapy can help. Our team of experts at Whatcom Physical Therapy are prepared to manage your MCL sprain and help you get back on your feet. 

Contact our team today for more information about MCL sprain recovery time or to schedule an initial appointment.