I have had knee problems my whole life(mild genetic deformation in both knees and more serious damage from playing sports + being a late bloomer) and I can tell you what i have learned and what helps me.
First thing is DO NOT GO NUTS WITH ADVIL AND ASPIRIN!!! they are both blood thinners and will have a tendency to actually reduce the amount of nutrients and oxygen being delivered to the area during recovery. taking them time to time is not a bad thing, but don't take extra doses or every time there is a twinge of discomfort.
another easy way to deal with knee swelling after a work out is to elevate the legs. lay on your back, put your legs straight up against a wall. sit for a minute or two, then spin your butt around and do a little stretch, then put your legs back up. repeat this a few times right after your warm down and you shoudl see less swelling and discomfort. this will help to flush the excess bursa fluid that is what creates most of the swelling and pressure in the joint.
after work outs, while cooling off, ice and elevation. keep a slight bend in your knees and do 15-20 minutes of and off with ice packs. it doesn't really accelerate healing, but it does increase comfort level.
if you are committed to a distance or event, use a compression brace. nothing too tight, just find a size that is snug enough to stay on before you start. once the knee starts to swell a little the pressure shoudl keep the fluids from building up enough to cause enough discomfort to interfere with your performance.
hope this helps. knee problems are no fun and very hard to explain. the biggest thing to remember is controlling swelling. knees have very little blood flow for the size of the joint, swelling only makes it worse and slows the healing/recovery process even more.
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