Posted by: Dr. Jamey Dyson | January 24, 2013

How to Heal from a Strain or Sprain Injury – Part 1

A humbling experience:  Two nights ago, after my son’s basketball practice, we were hanging shooting baskets together.  At some point, I got the bright idea to see if I could still touch the rim.  Despite my knees feeling like they were going to snap in half, I proceeded to jump multiple times in an attempt to get as close as I could.  Boy, was I humbled.  I could only get about 1/2 way up the net!

I was very disappointed, a bit demasculinized. next morning was “the icing on the cake”.  As I got out of bed, I noticed a new pain below my right knee cap.  It was painful to bend and move in certain ways.  It was tender to the touch at the bottom, outer part of my kneecap.

Diagnosis:  Patellar tendon strain and patellar tendinitis.

Now, I’m limping around, feeling like an old man!  I’m 41 – is this what being over-the-hill is all about?

So, what to do about this injury?  How do I go about recovering?  Well the first thing I start with is the confident belief that my body will heal the injury.  That is what my body is programmed to do – heal when it gets injured.  That’s what all the pain and inflammation is for in the beginning, the first part of the healing process.  As long as I’m not doing anything to screw up that healing process, I’m going to get better.  It’s inevitable.

The second thing is understanding that it will take a some time.  Most strain injuries (muscles or tendons) take 1-6 weeks to fully recover.  Sprain injuries (ligaments) take can take 6 weeks to over 12 months to fully recover.  So, based on the location of my pain and an understanding of the under-lying anatomical structures, I’m really certain that it is an injury to my tendon, not a ligament.  I’m thinking 1-6 weeks for recovery.

Most folks would do great to start with those 2 things when they are “humbled” by a strain or sprain injury:  1) Believe that healing is going to happen, and 2) Understanding that it will take time.  This mindset is so crucial to getting through an injury like this!

In Part 2, I’ll share some simple actions you can take that will allow your injury to heal better and what you can expect as it goes through the healing process.

Be Well,

Dr. Dyson



  1. So does this mean you are out of commission for next weeK Old Man. Jackie Pierce

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Ha-ha! No, I’m still treating patients. It takes more than a bum knee to keep me from working. I get more stubborn in my old age!

  2. […] it has been 2 weeks since my “humbling experience” and my knee is gradually improving.  The swelling is going down.  I can walk and do a full […]

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