Do you know the steps to take after a sports injury?
is for REST. Stop the activity you are currently performing. It is also a relative rest- in the first 72 hours you must be very careful to allow maximal healing. After this time you must then begin to gradually apply natural stresses to the damaged tissue.
is for ICE of course!! Ice is essential in the acute stages of injury. Ice means an ice pack, frozen bag of peas, crushed ice etc. wrapped in a wet tea towel applied to the affected area for 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours. This helps reduce and minimise the swelling. Do not apply ice for longer than this as you may cause an ice burn, which will further damage the tissues.
is for COMPRESSION. Compression involves applying a constant force around the affected area to reduce swelling also. This is usually in the form of a compression bandage, which is applied from just below to just above the affected area. If in doubt, ask a physiotherapist or your GP how to apply.
is for ELEVATION. Many people think this means elevate above ground level. It will actually only be effective if elevated above the level of the heart. This assists the flow of blood back to the heart which helps to reduce swelling in the area of the injury.