Recovering from any kind of injury can be a long and exhausting process. You may find yourself swapping between ice wraps and heat packs, not to mention that you’ll need to explore the idea of using braces too. When you add visits to your physiotherapist on top of this, you’ll soon find that the recovery process becomes even more frustrating. We’re here to help you heal as quickly as possible, helping you to put an end to muscle pain while also giving you the chance to restore your body’s full range of motion. Want to find out more? Simply look below.

What is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament ("ACL")

The cruciate ligaments are of considerable strength, situated in the middle of the joint, nearer to its posterior than to its anterior surface. They are called cruciate because they cross each other somewhat like the lines of the letter X; and have received the names anterior and posterior, from the position of their attachments to the tibia. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ligamentum cruciatum anterius; external crucial ligament) is attached to the depression in front of the intercondyloid eminence of the tibia, being blended with the anterior extremity of the lateral meniscus; it passes upward, backward, and lateralward, and is fixed into the medial and back part of the lateral condyle of the femur.

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that join the upper leg bone to the lower leg bone. The ACL helps keep your knee stable. Your ACL can be injured if your knee joint is bent backward, twisted, or bent side to side. The chance of injury is higher if more than one of these movements occurs at the same time. Contact (being hit by another person or object) also can cause an ACL injury.

How to Recover and Treat your ACL Injury

Not all ACL injuries end in surgery, but the majority due. With all injuries, please consult with a doctor.

In nonsurgical treatment, progressive physical therapy and rehabilitation can restore the knee to a condition close to its pre-injury state and educate the patient on how to prevent instability. Post surgery recovery is a long process to restabilize the knee and reduce swelling and inflammation. 

The best way for you to immediately treat your ACL injury would be for you to use the R.I.C.E method, which is:

  • REST - Rest is 100% essential if you want to heal. You need to limit the weight that you put on your knee, and you need to be mindful of the activities you do on a day to day basis.
  • ICE - Try and ice your knee every two hours. Ideally, you’ll do this for 20 minutes at a time.
  • COMPRESSION - Wrap a compression wrap or an elastic bandage around your knee.
  • ELEVATION -  Lie down with your knee on some pillows, this will speed up the recovery process.

Best Way to Help ACL Recovery Time

Swelling is very normal if you have experienced an ACL injury. It doesn’t matter if you have undergone surgery or not because the long-term effects that accompany persistent swelling can easily impact your range of motion as well as your functional movement. 

How to Help Yourself Recover Post-Surgery
You need to elevate your leg as much as possible, especially during the first 5 days after your injury, and 5 days post-surgery. If you’ve had surgery, your doctor will give you a range of exercises to do, depending on the procedure you’ve had done. If you haven’t had surgery yet, then there are some simple exercises you can do to restore movement. Some of which can be found below.

How Long Does a Knee Injury Take to Heal?

A fully torn ACL cannot recover without surgery. You may be able to restore some movement, but it will never be 100% unless you have it treated. If you want to try and speed up your recovery while you wait for surgery, then there are some simple exercises that you can do to build your strength.

Knee sprains can take up to 4 weeks to heal, but sometimes it can be longer depending on the injury and the damage that has been done. Immediate action will help to lessen the recovery time, including applying ice and visiting a doctor as soon as possible.

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How to Use Ice for Knee Pain Treatment

There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that your knee pain is treated properly, some of which can be found below.

Apply Ice
Icing the injury will ensure the swelling is reduced dramatically. Apply the ice immediately.

Ice Massage
You can also do an ice massage. Don’t allow the ice to sit in one spot, instead, move it around. This will ensure that your skin is not damaged, and it will also prevent prolonged contact in a single location.

Ice for 20 Minutes in Total
Ice for around 20 minutes at a time, never longer. Icing for longer will lead to issues such as frostbite. Allow the area to warm up for around an hour before reapplying ice.


Relieve pain and swelling and promote healing and flexibility with RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.Rest.

Rest and protect the injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.

Ice. Cold will reduce pain and swelling. Use your Cryosleeve right away to prevent or minimize swelling. Treat the affected area for 10-20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.

Compression. Tighten your Cryosleeve using the BOA® Fit System dials to help decrease swelling. Adjust to your comfort level; too tight can cause more swelling below the affected area.

Elevation. Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying cold treatment and anytime you are sitting or lying down.