How many of our sports players know the basics about injury management? How many players once injured know the best way to begin their recovery from injury? Often players once injured play through the pain barrier making things worse.
Slaughtneil club physio Moira McEldowney put together a simple article on what to do in the first 24-48 hours after an injury.
In First 24-48hrs
Rest: If you are injured, STOP playing, and rest. Resting an injury is important immediately after injury for two reasons. First, rest is vital to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. Second, your body needs to rest so it has the energy it needs to heal most effectively.
Ice: Use ice bags, cold packs or even a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin damp towel to provide cold to the injured area. Cold provides short-term pain relief. It also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. Keep in mind, though, that you should never leave ice on an injury for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin. The best rule is to apply cold compresses for 15 minutes and then leave them off for at least 20 minutes.
Compression: Compression helps limit swelling which slows down healing. Some people also experience pain relief from compression. An easy way to compress the area of the injury is to wrap a bandage around the swollen part. If you feel throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re-wrap the area so the bandage is a little looser.
Elevation: Elevating an injury reduces swelling. It's most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you injure an ankle, try lying on your bed with your foot propped on one or two pillows.
After a day or two of R.I.C.E., many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment with your physiotherapist.