MANAGING YOUR INJURY
Early correct management of Sports Injuries can really make a difference in achieving the best recovery. Unfortunately, even minor sports injuries can develop into serious cases with improper management. Whether it is a muscle tear,
ligament strain or fracture, the initial steps you take in managing your sports injury are critical.
Immediately after an injury, there can be some internal bleeding and swelling in the site of injury. When these steps are not followed, the existing injury can become aggravated and can take far longer to heal. This initial inflamed stage is called the acute stage and lasts for up to 72 hours after the injury.
To optimise your recovery from a sports injury, follow the RICER technique.
R – REST
Rest is essential immediately after injury to prevent any further damage. Limit movement and weight bearing in the affected area as continued activity can increase swelling and delay healing. Relative rest should continue from up to 48 – 72 hours. Don’t aggressively stretch or massage a new injury in the early stages.
I – ICE
By reducing blood flow, ice can help with reducing the swelling and inflammation that often arises immediately after injury. Apply ice for up to 20 minutes ideally every 2 hours for up to 72 hours after injury or at least 3 times a day as is practical. Never apply heat to a new injury as this can cause more bleeding.
NOTE: Do not apply ice directly to the skin as prolonged exposure to the skin can cause ice burns. Wrap a towel or cloth around the ice pack before use.
C – COMPRESSION
Compressing the region of injury with an elastic bandage will further decrease the swelling. Ensure the bandage is not too tight!
E – ELEVATION
Use gravity to help with swelling and pain. As the injured limb is elevated, the bleeding in the area will reduce significantly. Elevation means having the injured part above the level of the heart. In the case of a knee or ankle injury, lay flat with the leg on a few pillows to achieve this.
R – REFERRAL
For a precise diagnosis of your condition and a structured management plan that is specific to your individual presentation, be sure to make an appointment with a physiotherapist or your GP.
Gerard Lohan – Gardeners Road Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre
PH: 9669 1600
(Mascot Juniors RLFC players requiring physiotherapy receive a discounted rate at Gardeners Road Physio. Just let us know you are from the club when you make your appointment.)