I recently read somewhere that ultimate frisbee has one of the highest injury rates of all sports. Some say it is due to the fast pace and uneven fields, but I suspect it also has something to do with improper warm-up and conditioning. One of the most common injuries is that of knee sprains, which I managed to bestow upon myself last week.
Most ultimate frisbee knee sprains can be divided into two categories: MCL or LCL sprains (medial and lateral collateral ligament) or meniscus/ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprains. MCL/LCL are usually less severe (this is what I managed to do to myself) and affect the inside or outside of the knee. Meniscal or ACL sprains are more severe as they affect the overall stability of the knee and often take much more time (and sometimes surgery) to heal.
Thankfully, I have almost unrestricted access to low intensity laser therapy (given that I own the machine), and have been treating the injury daily since it happened. Laser therapy is a great option for injuries such as this, as ligaments are considered a tissue that does not heal as quickly as others (such as skin or muscle). Laser therapy can boost the ligament’s healing rate, and get me back on the field a lot faster.
It is important to remember, however, that after the swelling and pain have reduced the knee needs to be strengthened in order to prevent re-occurrence and get you sport-ready. The most important amongst these exercises is medial (inside) quad strength, as this muscle will begin to weaken immediately upon injury, especially if you are on crutches or limping around.