Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain Rehab Exercises

An MCL, or medial collateral ligament, injury affects the ligament on the within portion of your knee. Although a full tear may need surgery and weeks of rehab, you might be able to recuperate from a partial tear or strain to complete strength in a matter of days or weeks. Rehab exercises after an MCL injury include stretches and muscle strengthening exercises.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain Rehabilitation Exercises Therapy

  • Passive knee extension: Do this exercise if you are not able to extend your knee fully. While lying on your back, place a rolled-up towel under the heel of your injured leg so the heel is about 6 inches off the ground. Unwind your leg muscles and let gravity slowly straighten your knee. Attempt to hold this position for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. You might feel some discomfort while doing this workout. Do the exercise a number of times a day. This exercise can also be done while sitting in a chair with your heel on another chair or stool.
  • Heel slide: Sit on a firm surface with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly slide the heel of the foot on your injured side towards your butt by pulling your knee towards your chest as you slide the heel. Return to the beginning position. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Clam exercise: Lie on your uninjured side with your hips and knees bent and feet together. Slowly raise your top leg toward the ceiling while keeping your heels touching each other. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly. Do 2 sets of 15 repeatings.
  • Straight leg raise: Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend the knee on your uninjured side and place the foot flat on the floor. Tighten up the thigh muscle on your injured side and lift your leg about 8 inches off the floor. Keep your leg straight and your thigh muscle tight. Slowly lower your leg pull back to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Side-lying leg lift: Lie on your uninjured side. Tighten up the front thigh muscles on your injured leg and lift that leg 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) away from the other leg. Keep the leg straight and lower it slowly. Do 2 sets of 15.
rehab exercises for mcl sprain

Rehab exercises for MCL sprain

  • Vulnerable hip extension: Lie on your stomach with your legs right out behind you. Fold your arms under your head and rest your head on your arms. Draw your belly button in to your spine and tighten your abdominal muscles. Tighten the buttocks and thigh muscles of the leg on your injured side and raise the leg off the floor about 8 inches. Keep your leg straight. Hold for 5 seconds. Then lower your leg and relax. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Knee stabilization: Wrap a piece of flexible tubing around the ankle of your uninjured leg. Tie a knot in the other end of the tubing and close it in a door at about ankle height.
    • Stand dealing with the door on the leg without tubing (your injured leg) and flex your knee a little, keeping your thigh muscles tight. Stay in this position while you move the leg with the tubing (the uninjured leg) straight back behind you. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Turn 90 degrees so the leg without tubing is closest to the door. Move the leg with tubing away from your body. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Turn 90 degrees once again so your back is to the door. Move the leg with tubing straight out in front of you. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Turn your body 90 degrees once again so the leg with tubing is closest to the door. Move the leg with tubing throughout your body. Do 2 sets of 15.
    • Hold onto a chair if you need help balancing. This workout can be made more challenging by standing on a firm pillow or foam mat while you move the leg with tubing.

Wall squat

  • Stand with your back, shoulders, and head versus a wall and look straight ahead. Keep your shoulders unwinded and your feet about 3 feet (90 centimeters) away from the wall and a shoulder’s width apart.
  • Keeping your head against the wall, slide down the wall. Lower your buttocks toward the floor up until your thighs are practically parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Make certain to tighten your thigh muscles as you slowly slide back as much as the beginning position. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12. You can increase the amount of time you remain in the lower position to assist enhance your quadriceps muscles.
  • Step-up: Stand with the foot of your injured leg on a support 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) high– like a small step or block of wood. Keep your other foot flat on the floor. Shift your weight onto the injured leg on the support. Straighten your injured leg as the other leg comes off the floor. Return to the beginning position by bending your injured leg and slowly lowering your uninjured leg back to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Withstood terminal knee extension: Make a loop with a piece of elastic tubing by tying a knot in both ends. Close the knot in a door at knee height. Enter the loop with your injured leg so the tubing is around the back of your knee. Raise the other foot off the ground and keep a chair for balance, if required. Bend the knee with tubing about 45 degrees. Slowly straighten your leg, keeping your thigh muscle tight as you do this. Repeat 15 times. Do 2 sets of 15. If you require a much easier way to do this, stand on both legs for better support while you do the exercise.
  • If you have access to a wobble board, do the following exercises:

Wobble board exercises

Stand on a wobble board with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Rock the board forwards and in reverse 30 times, then side to side 30 times. Hold on to a chair if you need support.
    • Turn the wobble board around so that the edge of the board touches with the floor at all times. Do this 30 times in a clockwise and after that a counterclockwise instructions.
    • Balance on the wobble board for as long as you can without letting the edges touch the floor. Attempt to do this for 2 minutes without touching the floor.
    • Rotate the wobble board in clockwise and counterclockwise circles, however do not let the edge of the board touch the floor.
    • When you have actually mastered the wobble exercises standing on both legs, try repeating them while standing on just your injured leg. After you have the ability to do these exercises on one leg, attempt to do them with your eyes closed. Ensure you have something close by to support you in case you lose your balance.

Last modified: August 6, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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