Home treatment may help relieve
pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Rest and protect an
injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may
be causing your pain or soreness. When resting, place a small pillow under your
Ice will reduce pain and swelling.
ice or cold packs immediately to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice
or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
- For the first 48 hours after an injury, avoid
things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs,
or alcoholic beverages.
- After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone,
heat and begin
gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help
restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between
heat and cold treatments.
Compression, or wrapping the
injured or sore area with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap), will help
- Don't wrap it too tightly, since this can
cause more swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too
tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling,
increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the
- Don't expect the bandage to protect or stabilize a knee
- Talk to your doctor if you think you need to use a wrap for
longer than 48 to 72 hours. A more serious problem may be present.
Elevate the injured or sore
area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down.
Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize
Reduce stress on your sore knee (until you can get advice
from your doctor):
- Use a cane or crutch in the hand opposite
your painful knee.
- Use two crutches, keeping weight off the leg
with the sore knee. You can get canes or crutches from most pharmacies.
Crutches are recommended if a cane causes you to walk with a limp.
- Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and
encourage blood flow. Do not massage the injured area if it causes
- Try the following exercises to maintain flexibility:
- Avoid high-impact exercise, such as running,
skiing, snowboarding, or playing tennis, until your knee is no longer painful
Do not smoke. Smoking slows healing because it decreases blood
supply and delays tissue repair. For more information, see the topic
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.