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Can I exercise after a ligament strain?

Q: I love sports and exercise regularly. I joined a gym for 3 months but had to discontinue due to work pressure. I used to workout everyday on my legs and abdomen and was looking for more of fitness than muscle. Since last month, I have started getting pain in my right knee (after 3-4 months of leaving gym). The pain is not constant and occurs while climbing stairs. I get a pain at the back of the knee and the pain causes the knee to just stop and then a slight lingering feeling is there. My schedule is 2.5 hours of workout, involving basic warm-up for half an hour. Weights are not over 10 kg anytime except for the calf raises in sitting position where I go for 20 kg too. An orthopaedician examined me and said it is a sports injury with strain in ligament. I want to continue gyming and since my focus is abs and thighs, I am not sure whether I should continue. What extra precaution is required for doing leg exercises? I have heard that if you stop exercising, then the nerves, which are stretched start reducing in size leading to pain, which gets aggravated in winters. Is it safe to start exercising again?

A:This is a common sports injury but a very delicate one too. You have to be very careful with this. A clinical examination is a must to know the laxity of your knee joint. Your pain seems to be of patello-femoral origin. Precautions you need to take: 1. Avoid putting on weight. 2. Always use good footwear. 3. Stop exercising as soon as you feel the strain. 4. Do quadriceps exercises as well as hamstring strengthening exercises. 5. Always adopt good posture. 6. Increase your muscle endurance. 7. Till your knee is stable, exercise 10 degrees short of full extension. 8. Wear knee braces while exercising. 9. Do not use the calf weights. 10. You can safely start exercising again within your limits. Do not ignore body signals of pain and fatigue.


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