These pages include generalised advice, and are not intended to cover every eventuality, but to help inform any decisions you may need to make before seeing us.
Acute Injury Care:
Please note that acute means very recent, it does not comment on severity.
The best, and most important piece of general advice is to RICE’M.
Rest – Application of common sense, NOT BED REST (unless absolutely necessary initially), basically, avoid aggravating factors, surprisingly enough, they’ll make it worse. Use comparative rest until fully healed, start challenging yourself gradually once able; see how you respond the next day.
Ice – Real ice is better than fake cold from gels and sprays; but often less convenient, use real if you can. Always wrap your ice pack in a thin layer of dry material, this prevents you getting an ice burn. For the first day or so use it in bursts of <5 minutes, repeating every 20-30 minutes. After that, use bursts of 10-15 minutes, repeating every 60-90 minutes. (For more details, click here).
Compression – Has a dual effect, it minimizes excessive oedema, by not allowing it room to expand, and provides an element of support to a joint, allowing the ligaments more rest; DO NOT OVERUSE THIS, don’t wear strapping for more than a few days without seeking further advice (unless it’s bandaging for an open wound, or a broken bone, obviously).
Elevation – Helps drain oedema, blood and lymph from the area, basically, try to keep the injured area higher than the heart so it can drain – obviously, easier with limbs than torso injuries; don’t use for more than a couple of days.
Mobility – Keep it moving. Movement is essential (especially in joints) to allow full perfusion of oxygen and nutrients (and white blood cells and serum). It will also help to prevent additional cramping, and allow the joint to actively heal itself, and minimise scar formation later.