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Meniscus Information
Fact Versus Fiction

Meniscus Myths and Facts

Meniscus Facts and Myths

Answering What Works and What Doesn't

  • Does Exercise and Stretching help?
  • Should I have a Cyst drained?
  • Bands, Straps, Braces and Gadgets
  • Medicine - what to take and what to avoid
  • What about Heating Pads?

This page explains common mistakes made when treating a Meniscus Tear. You may also click the links below to view one of the following topics:

MYTH: Compression Sleeves Help

REALITY: Elastic Bands and Sleeves can Make it Worse

Meniscus Bands Hurt

There are a million companies selling bands and compression wraps for you to wear all the time. Companies like Amazon sell them because they can, not because they help. What does Amazon know about treating injuries? Nothing. If they can sell it, they sell it, and that's it.

Honestly, wearing tight elastic bands around your joints all day long is a recipe for more damage to your knee. Squeezing your tendons and your ligaments and the parts of your joint so they rub against each other when you move is going to lead to damaged tendons and ligaments. Guaranteed.

Yes, compression can help squeeze the synovial fluid back into the knee joint - but only do that when you are at rest! And only do it for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Definitely not all day long, and definitely not when you are active.

If you want support for your injury, tape it. Tape over it, not around it so your joint is getting squeezed.

MYTH: I have an Over-Use / Repetitive Strain Injury

REALITY: A Meniscus Injury is NOT from Over Use

Meniscus Repetitive Strain

Perhaps you noticed your knee pain for the first time when you were being active. You can easily mistakenly think that activity is the reason for the pain. But the reality is that most people who experience this have an injury that is the result of Isometric Strain.

Isometric strain is a fancy term that means you held your knee under pressure for a long time in one position without moving it. That leads to a bone-on-bone situation and when you make the next significant motion, your meniscus can easily get torn. That's the exact opposite of repetitive motion!

The pressure of the constant strain often damages knees but you don't realize it when it's happening. That's a significant cause of Meniscus damage. Check out our Causes of Meniscus Damage page for the full story.

MYTH: Creams like Voltaren and Infusion Creams will Help

REALITY: Topical Creams are Either Ineffective or Harmful

Arnica Creams are Dangerous

Yes, topical creams can help relieve arthritis pain. This is not because they heal arthritis, but because they just numb your nerves in the area so you don't feel it as much.

If someone is recommending topical creams to treat your meniscus injury then someone is more interested in making money than really helping you.

First, your meniscus is within a space called your knee capsule, or synovial capsule, and that area is sealed off from the rest of your knee. Topical creams will never get to your meniscus inside its protective capsule.

Second, with a meniscus tear, you don't want to numb your nerves. You may not enjoy the pain, but pain is your best guidance on what not to do. If you need pain relief in the moment, use cold compression. It works incredibly well. But using a numbing cream means turning off your body's defense against reinjury for hours at a time and that's just a bad idea.

Getting past a torn meniscus is hard enough, because it's so vulnerable to reinjury. Yes, deal with pain in the moment with cold compression. Don't turn off your body's defences with pain numbing creams.

MYTH: RICE is the Best Formula to Follow

REALITY: RCCE® is the Best Formula to Follow

Most people think that RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation - is the formula to follow when treating inflammation, swelling and pain. The truth is that ice can actually freeze your skin and numb your nerves, causing 'cold burns' and even permanent damage to your underlying tissue. Rest is absolutely a good thing. The proper solution is RCCE® - Rest, Cold, Compression & Elevation.

For a torn meniscus, the compression should be gentle and constant for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

Rest, Cold, Compression, Elevation

Where ice is concerned, we don't want to apply ice - we want to apply cold that is just around freezing. Yes, you want cold - and lots of it - but not so cold that it is below the freezing point of water. ColdCure® technology was developed specifically to address the need for a cold compression device that does not freeze the skin and underlying tissue. ColdCure® gel packs pose no threat of cold burns. This makes them much safer to use than other products that use ice, which can cause the skin to freeze, leading to permanent damage.

ColdCure gel packs are completely safe to use for extended treatment durations, meaning faster relief of pain and swelling. ColdCure® technology is a huge improvement on regular ice packs.

For more information about Coldcure, see our Treatment of a Torn Meniscus page.

MYTH: Cortisone Shots Will Heal Me

REALITY: Cortisone Shots Can Cause Serious Damage

Steroid Injections are Dangerous

Cortisone injections are designed to temporarily relieve pain and swelling, however, they come with a variety of risks and side effects. These include skin discoloration, allergic reaction, infection, and nerve damage. They're also associated with tendon rupture.

Cortisone shots are not designed to heal the injury. They simply mask the pain and can cause you to feel a false sense of ability, leading to a higher likelihood of re-injury. If the cortisone shot is not administered properly, there's a chance that it won't have any effect. Some people are also unable to metabolize cortisone, meaning it would not provide them with any relief.

Cortisone contributes to the thinning of tissue and an increase in the likelihood of a tendon rupture in your knee as a result!

Please visit our Cortisone Shots page for more information on the potential dangers of cortisone.

MYTH: Surgery Can Fix the Problem

REALITY: Surgery Should be the LAST RESORT

Surgery Bad Choice

Surgery is not actually required in order to heal most soft tissue injuries. Injured tissue can be healed without surgery in the majority of cases. Most 'Meniscus Repair' surgeries are actually 'meniscus removal' procedures because when the piece is removed, so is the pain... for a while. Check out our Meniscus Information page for the full story.

Knee surgery should be avoided as much as possible and if you do go this route, pick your surgeon very carefully. Definitely, get more than one opinion. There are many risks and complications associated with surgery, including nerve damage, infection, tendon rupture, and more. There is also no guarantee that it will get rid of the problem for good. Most people who get 'Meniscus Repair' surgery done end up getting knee replacements years later.

If you do undergo surgery, you can still use our BFST® and ColdCure® products beforehand to help prepare your body, and after the procedure to accelerate your recovery. Always get a second opinion before signing up for knee surgery.

MYTH: TENS Machines Stimulate Blood Flow and Help Heal

REALITY: TENS Machines Can Cause Serious Damage

Tens Machines are Dangerous

A TENS machine does not stimulate blood flow. TENS is an acronym that means Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. What a TENS machine is designed to do, is overstimulate the nerves to relieve pain - it deadens the nerves. While you want to reduce pain from your injury, using a TENS machine over an injury is highly not recommended.

Having your muscles pulse and flex uncontrolled will cause further tissue damage and slow down healing. It is an important part of injury recovery, to feel the pain, and respect the pain. Pain is going to tell you when you're potentially causing further damage.

Never mask the pain heading into any activity. TENS does NOT HEAL ANY INJURY.

Check out our Treatment of Meniscus Injuries page for effective solutions.

MYTH: Stretching and Physiotherapy Help Heal your Injury

REALITY: You Need To Advocate For Yourself. Pain = Re-Injury

When to do Physiotherapy

The purpose of physiotherapy is to help with strengthening the muscles surrounding your injury once the healing process is underway. Starting physiotherapy before your injury has had a chance to start healing and stabilize, will only cause further damage and more pain.

After being inactive for an extended period of time, you get muscle atrophy (weakened muscles). As your injury heals, physiotherapy can be an excellent resource to help you rebuild that lost muscle.

Just remember, your physiotherapist cannot feel what you feel. If you feel pain during physio or afterwards advocate for yourself. Physio should not hurt. You need to work within your pain limits. If an exercise hurts, you need to stop that exercise because you're not ready yet.

As you heal you will be able to do more, but do not push yourself because this will only cause re-injury. This is true throughout your entire knee recovery. Always respect the pain. Check out our Meniscus Information page for the full story.

MYTH: Heating Pads Can Help My Injury Heal

REALITY: Heating Pads Don't Reach Meniscus Injuries

While using a heating pad on an injury can feel good due to the warmth, they do not provide any healing benefits for your meniscus. Many sites online are marketing heating pads in place of proper treatments like BFST®.

The reality is that BFST® can heal soft tissue injuries, and heating pads can't. BFST® stimulates healthy blood flow in the area of your injury, deep inside the knee. This increase in blood flow works with the synovial fluid to speed up the healing process. Heating pads can't do this. Heating pads simply bring blood to the surface of your skin, making it hot to the touch.

BFST vs Heating Pad

Unfortunately, many people buy inexpensive Chinese heating pads from American companies, like you see all over Amazon and the internet. The truth is, many of these people end up getting physically burned, not healed. There are hundreds of complaints filed with FDA every year from people who get skin burns, or burnt furniture, and house fires - even deaths - from defective heating pads that were sold as solutions to their injuries. And sadly, those only represent a small portion of the people actually getting hurt.

In the first 6 months of 2023, the FDA received almost 300 reports of injury and fires, just as a result of heating pads sold for healing people. These were company names you may know, like Sunbeam, Conair, Mighty Bliss, Walgreens, Softheat, CVS, Healthsmart, Dunlap, Yeamon, and Drive. Many of these were sold through Amazon. ALL of them were sold as heating pads to help people heal.

Get BFST® for healing, not heating pads. In 15 years, and with over 300,000 medical devices sold, King Brand products have had zero complaints filed with the FDA. Not one. And, BFST actually works.

BFST® technology far surpasses the heating pad in terms of therapeutic benefits. BFST wraps are 100% safe and heavily vetted by over 300,000 users and several regulatory bodies - many more than just FDA.

See our Company and Products Quality page to learn why King Brand products are so safe and so effective.

Check out our Meniscus Treatment page to learn more about BFST therapy for meniscus injuries.

MYTH: I Need To Elevate My Injury Higher Than My Heart When I Rest

REALITY: Any Injury That Isn't Bleeding Does Not Need To Be Raised Above The Heart

Raise Injured Area

Bleeding should slow down if you raise an injury higher than your heart; however, this isn't necessary for a meniscus tear. Particularly with a mature meniscus injury, which is not usually a condition that comes with a lot of swelling.

If, though, there is a noticeable lump forming on the back of your knee as well, that's a bursa filling with synovial fluid. That synovial fluid only needs to drain from the bursa back into your knee. Synovial fluid is good stuff your body is making for your knee.

Raising your knee isn't going to move the fluid to any other area of your body, because it's not directly attached to your blood flow or affected by blood pressure. Simply resting the injured knee is sufficient.

MYTH: Exercising, Despite the Pain, Will Help Me Heal Faster

REALITY: Working Through the Pain is Dangerous

DON'T Work Through the Pain

Rest is very important when recovering from an injury. Of course, too much rest can cause weak and stiff muscles, but resting when you can will help you avoid further injury. While it is true that moving promotes blood flow, and in turn blood flow promotes healing, too much movement too soon in the healing process is a bad thing, as it only results in re-injury and a much longer recovery time.

Exercise and Stretches do nothing to help the meniscus itself. Don't misunderstand. Motion is a very good thing. Motion is what pumps the synovial fluid around your knee and that's important. But 'stretching' and 'exercise' suggest pushing limits and pushing limits puts you at high risk of reinjury. While you're injured, only do motions and activity that don't cause you any pain or concern. Pushing limits will not help you heal faster. Pushing limits only risks your recovery.

Certain exercises and stretches may be beneficial to rebuild your muscles after you address the underlying injury. But these should not be done until you are further along in the healing process. If you are doing them too early you will know because your meniscus pain will start to grow again.

You need to accept that for a short while, reducing your activity is important to letting your knee get over the hump in terms of healing. You cannot keep doing the same level of activity you were doing before becoming injured. You need to let your knee rest. If you are driving through the pain, you are just making your situation worse. This can't be stressed enough about meniscus injuries because your initial injury has turned into a more significant injury. Rest is critical. Give your knee a break. You can gradually work your way back up to your regular activities, but this will take some time. Check out our Causes of Meniscus Injury page for more information on exercise and Meniscus recovery.

MYTH: Painkillers Are a Quick & Easy Solution at Any Time

REALITY: Only Take Painkillers During Times of Rest

Injury Treatment Without Drugs

Painkillers should never be used during times of physical activity. This is because painkillers completely block the pain signal, making you totally unaware that you're doing more damage to the injured area. Painkillers mask the pain, tricking you into thinking you're better and able to push yourself physically, when this will only result in further injury. Make sure you restrict painkillers to times when your body is at rest. Using painkillers when you're active means risking a worsening meniscus tear, an even longer recovery, and possibly a knee replacement in the future.

While painkillers are effective at relieving pain and inflammation, they are not designed to address the root cause. In situations where the underlying injury is osteoarthritis or tendonitis, some meds can help if used at the right times. That is not a meniscus injury though. For more information about which meds help and when, give us a call, our treatment advisors will give you some excellent free advice. You need more than painkillers, though, if you really want to heal.

Check out our Treatment of Meniscus Injuries page for effective ways to deal with pain.

MYTH: Once the Pain Stops, Treatment is No Longer Necessary

REALITY: Treatment Should Continue Long After the Pain Stops

Continue BFST Treatment

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during recovery is stopping treatment before your injury has finished healing. The healing process does not end once the pain stops. The healing process takes much longer than most people realize. (You can click here to understand how tissue heals.)

The key thing to remember is that long after the pain stops, your tissue is still healing. This means you need to continue doing BFST® treatments in order to complete the healing process. Doing regular BFST® treatments for several months after the pain is gone is extremely beneficial. Do a BFST® treatment prior to any physical activity, to warm up your circulatory system, your knee, and to help avoid re-injury.

Dealing With Pain

Painkillers are BAD, Not Good

Painkillers mask the pain, causing you to continue to stress and injure your knee. This will only make your condition worse. It is understandable that people need relief from the pain, so if you have to take painkillers, restrict them to times when you are off your feet. You can use painkillers to help you sleep. Using them when you are active is a recipe for permanent damage. Your choice of pain killers is important. You can give us a call to discuss which ones are best.

A ColdCure® Leg or Knee Wrap is designed to relieve the pain associated with a torn meniscus. This safe and effective pain reliever is also great at bringing down swelling and inflammation. The ColdCure® Wrap is incredibly soothing and provides support and protection for your knee while you wear it. The painkilling element is incredibly powerful and it works instantly - there's no 20 minute wait like with pills.

Ankle Sprain Treatment Without Drugs or Pills

A torn meniscus can be extremely painful and debilitating. Painkillers such as ASA or acetaminophen are often used to treat the pain but these drugs do nothing to treat the actual condition. In fact, most painkillers are known blood thinners that can have other side effects. Cortisone injections are used in extreme cases but these too are intended to address the pain. They do not promote healing of the injury itself and they put you at a very high risk of further injury.

Blood Flow is Essential for Healing

You don't have to wait for endless months in pain. You can heal much more quickly with the right treatment. For a knee injury, blood flow is the most critical element in rapid recovery. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST®) gives your knee the blood flow it needs to heal quickly and completely.

BFST® brings extra oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the injured area - a requirement for the body to heal itself. But there's no blood in the meniscus, so how can blood flow help? Blood flow works hand in hand with the synovial fluid. The good that comes, and the bad that leaves, is exchanged between the synovial fluid and your blood supply, so yes, blood flow is an important catalyst to healing. Unfortunately, an injured knee at rest often has restricted blood flow, which extends your healing time and greatly increases the amount of scar tissue that develops. With a King Brand® BFST® Knee Wrap, blood flow can be stimulated in the area of injury while you are at rest. With improved blood flow and without physical activity and the risk of re-injury, you can recover from your knee injury at a surprisingly rapid rate.

To be more proactive about healing, you can click here to visit the Recommended Treatments page.

I had really good results with the BFST for the knee.

I had a torn meniscus and I used the products and didn't need surgery. It was miraculous. With the knee, the doctors said I'd need the meniscus surgery because I wouldn't get enough blood flow to the area. But, between the BFST and gentle biking, it cured it.

I could hardly walk before!

Thank you so much.

Phyllis from FloridaBFST KneeMay 3, 2023

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To be more proactive about healing your underlying problem, you can click here to visit the Recommended Treatments page.
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Meniscus Injuries plague many people. Using Arnica for Arthritis is okay. Using Arnica for a meniscus injury is dangerous people selling you arnica to numb your meniscus injury are just trying to make money. Using arnica on your meniscus injury may lead to even more injury over time. Beware of companies marketing the concept of an arnica infusion. Your meniscus is so deep in your knee and within the knee capsule that not arnica could ever get to your meniscus anyway. There's no doubt that to heal knee injuries quickly you need BFST treatments. ColdCure will help with knee pain caused by meniscus injuries. You can cure meniscus injuries and any knee injury with BFST and ColdCure technology. So, if you want to get rid of your meniscus injury quickly, you need BFST. If you want to treat a Baker's Cyst you need ColdCure. Baker's Cyst symptoms are associated with an underlying knee injury and include knee pain and swelling. Sometimes a torn meniscus requires surgery. This gets rid of the meniscus tear but the pain in your knee after surgery can be severe. These wraps are incredible. They feel comfortable. They work.

Torn Meniscus - Quick Links
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