The following exercises form part of our LCL Sprain rehab program and include mobility, strengthening, proprioception, and functional sports-specific exercises.
LCL sprain rehabilitation exercises begin as soon as the initial acute period passes. In particular, avoid lateral (sideways) stress on your knee when recovering from lateral collateral knee ligament sprains.
The aim is to regain and maintain full joint mobility.
Active ankle mobility
Pull the foot up as far as it will go (dorsiflexion), and hold for a couple of seconds. Then point it away from you (plantar flexion) and hold it again.
Curl your toes up, You can scrunch up a towel or pick up a pencil to add variety.
Sustained calf stretch
Use a band to stretch the calf muscles, Pull your foot up towards your knee.
Strengthening exercises can also begin as soon as pain allows. The further you can get with strengthening exercises prior to surgery then the more likely you are to have a faster recovery post-operation.
Inner range quads
Contract your quadriceps muscles and hold for 6 seconds, relax, and repeat.
VMO hamstring push
Push the leg into the block, hold, push the hamstring down, and relax.
Step down counterbalance squat: Linear
Hold a stick or pole directly out in front of you at chest height, then step down using the pole as a counterbalance. Perform the movement slowly and with control.
These exercises keep your hip muscles firing and in good condition.
Clam in flexion with band
Lie on your side with your knees bent and slightly forwards so your hips are in flexion. Raise your knee up in a slow, controlled movement and return to the start position.
Clam in extension
Lie on your side with your knees bent and moved further back so your hips are into an extension. Raise your knee up in a slow, controlled movement and return to the start position.
Single-leg quarter squat
Stand next to a wall with a gym ball, Between you and the wall, perform a quarter squat on one leg using the ball for support.
Motion control is similar to balance but means the awareness of where your body (or body part) is in space. These exercises help in controlling the movement of the limb and preventing re-injury.
Double leg stand eyes closed
For double leg stand eyes open and then closed. Hold your balance, then your eyes open.
Gym ball bridge
With heels on the ball push the hips upwards maintaining control throughout.
Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent, Lean forwards, open up your arms pulling the non-supporting leg backwards to make the shape of a ‘T’. Maintain your balance and repeat.
Plyometric exercises involve dynamic and sometimes explosive movements. They bridge the gap between basic LCL sprain strengthening exercises and returning to full training and eventually competition.
A march linear
Flat-footed or if your ankle’s feeling ok you can go up onto your toes. March forward with a high knee lift and firm foot placement on the floor.
A march lateral
Flat-footed or if your ankle’s feeling ok you can go up onto your toes. March laterally (sideways) with a high knee lift and firm foot placement on the floor.
Lunge walk rotation
Take a step forward into a lunge position and rotate the pole to the side of your front leg, then back to the centre. Push back up with your heel to a standing position and repeat the lunge and rotation with the opposite leg.
A skip lateral
Lateral (sideways) out and back, A Marching drill now progresses into a skipping drill making it more dynamic. Skip with a dynamic knee lift and a dynamic reaction off the floor.