Many athletes develop a bruised knee from running, and while any injury should be evaluated by a doctor, most of these injuries can be treated successfully at home. In order to reduce the pain and swelling caused by this type of injury, the affected knee should be rested as much as possible. Ice therapy and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers are often recommended for those who sustain a bruised knee from running. Supportive devices such as crutches may be used as temporary mobility aids, but prolonged use may cause the knee to become stiff. Occasionally, scar tissue may form inside of the knee and could require surgical intervention.
Any knee injury should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out the possibility of severe damage. After it has been medically determined that the injury is in fact a bruised knee from running, proper treatment can begin. The patient should avoid using the affected knee as long as pain and inflammation are present. Elevating the knee above the level of the heart can help to reduce swelling and prevent the development of blood clots.
Ice therapy is often helpful in treating a bruised knee from running. An ice pack can be wrapped in a towel and placed on the affected knee for 20 minutes at a time. This process can be repeated several times per day, but the ice should be kept off the knee for at least 20 minutes between applications. Wrapping the ice pack in a towel helps to prevent skin damage from direct exposure to the ice.
Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen may be used to ease the discomfort caused by the development of a bruised knee from running. If the bruise is deep or there is additional tissue damage, stronger pain medications may be prescribed. It is important to check with a doctor before taking any pain medications, as some of these drugs act as blood thinners and may not be recommended in some situations.
Mobility can be decreased as a result of an injury such as a bruised knee from running. Supportive devices such as a cane or crutches may help the patient get around a little better during the recovery period, but these devices should be used only as necessary to avoid the knee becoming stiff. If the pain associated with this injury lasts more than a few days, a doctor should be consulted for further evaluation. Complications such as blood clots or the development of scar tissue may require more aggressive treatment methods.