HAVE YOU JUST BEEN INJURED?
FIRSTLY Read and Follow the RICE Regime below for acute management of a sporting injury.
NEXT book an appointment to have your injury assessed by a physiotherapist who will give you a diagnosis and a recommended action plan which will help you to understand the extent of your injury, a timeframe for recovery and exactly what you will need to do to return to your sport as soon as safely possible.
THE RICE REGIME
To be able to return to sport as quickly as possible after an injury a great advantage is gained in the first 48 hours if you manage the bleeding and swelling well. Doing the wrong things in this early period can cost you a further two to six weeks of recovery and possibly further damage to the involved structure. Throughout the sport season you may be unfortunate enough to sustain a muscular strain, ligament sprain, a fracture, muscular contusion (cork) or a joint dislocation. All of these injuries produce damage to the involved structure and the blood vessels that supply and surround the structure. This results in bleeding and swelling into joints and the surrounding muscles. If you do sustain an injury you should follow the principles of the R.I.C.E.D. regime and avoid the H.A.R.M. factors over the first 48 hours.
R = REST – Rest the injured body part using a sling or crutches if required.
I = ICE – Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours to reduce blood flow and swelling.
C = COMPRESSION – Apply a compression bandage to control swelling and provide support.
E = ELEVATION – Elevate the injured body part above the level of the heart.
D = DIAGNOSIS – Seek professional advice from a doctor or physiotherapist.
H = HEAT increases circulation and therefore bleeding and swelling.
A = ALCOHOL thins the blood and dilates blood vessels increasing bleeding.
R = RUNNING puts damaged structures at further risk and increases bleeding.
M = MASSAGE can cause a re-bleed if performed too early.
Following these principles for 48 hours will allow your body to best begin the healing processes involved in repairing your injury. Beyond this time your rehabilitation will vary dependant on the degree and severity of your injury. You should have your injury assessed sooner rather than later to make sure you return to sport safely at the appropriate time.