What to do after an acute injury? → PRICEM
Protect. Take care not to re-injure yourself. Stop the painful activity. Pain is a protective mechanism of your body. Listen to it!
Rest. Give your body time to heal. Tissue healing can take up to 4-6 weeks. The sooner you rest from the painful activity the sooner your body can heal. This is not an excuse to be a couch potato for 4 weeks. Complete rest, in some cases, can delay healing time. Start with pain free cross training and rehab as soon as possible.
Ice. For the first 48 to 72 hours or until swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every 2 hours during the day. (There is some controversial opinions over the use of ice after an acute injury. Some research is pro the use of ice and other research report no difference in the speed of recovery). With that said, ice will definitely help to decrease the pain.
Compression. An elastic compression wrap will help decrease swelling and should be worn for the first 24 to 36 hours. Were applicable, use a protective brace. Don't apply the wrap too tightly. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage.
Elevation. Raise the injured area above the level of your heart for 2 to 3 hours a day.
Mobility. Always try to maintain pain free movement as far as possible.
Injuries are part of sport. It is how you recover that makes you a better athlete.
Make an appointment with us to help you with an optimal recovery.
Article: Karien Jordaan (M.Sc Sport Physiotherapy)
Picture: Google images