I’m a physiotherapist… and I’m injured! Ironic isn’t it? Unfortunately, not all harm can be prevented(Such as being pushed in mid-air, causing you to land on someone else’s foot and rolling your ankle). I know how to rehabilitate myself but even if I wasn’t a physio, I and everyone else, should know what to do immediately after an injury: RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation)
Even if you know what RICE is, remind yourself of the minor details which can easily be forgotten.
Rest from the activity that caused the injury. Heat, alcohol, running on it and massage to the area (HARM) can cause further swelling.
Ice the injured area. Grab a bag of ice wrapped with a towel over the injury for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for a few hours. Apply ice for 15 minutes every few hours for the first 48-72 hours. Leaving it on for longer increases your risk of an ice burn. Continuing to use Ice after the first few days may delay healing.
Compression is a good way to keep the swelling down. Make sure the injured area is compressed to prevent excess swelling which can also invade surrounding healthy tissue and be quite irritating. An elastic bandage works very well as it conforms to the skin as it expands.
Elevate the injured area. Allow it to lie above the level of your heart to allow reduction of swelling.
Some of you may also be confused about when to use ice or heat after the first 48-72 hours. Use Ice to help reduce excess swelling and to numb down pain if an injury starts to flare up. Otherwise on a normal day to day basis, use heat to facilitate blood flow and healing. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to give us a call and see us at the clinic.