Two of the main mistakes we all do when we experience an injury is to either OVER-protect it by not using that leg or arm at all OR by “speeding” the recovery as much as we can:
- We take anti-inflammatories straightaway…
- We use too much ICE therapy and too soon…
The problem with all these is that they all belong to the two extremes of the scale. And this is probably how we all live our lives with work deadlines, childcare, commitments and many more. However, if we take a step back we will realise that an inflammation around the injury is an event that NEEDS to happen. Therefore, immediate consumption of anti-inflammatories and too much ice therapy (every hour or two!) will certainly interfere. Also, over-protecting an area due to an injury nearby WILL eventually result in a lot of stiffness and swelling. The latter can gather around the injured area and that limb if we don’t carefully keep moving and continue to use the joints above and below the injury.
What is “over-protection”?
Just to clarify, over-protection of an injury includes things like compensating on the other leg to take the pressure off the opposite hip, knee or ankle. We usually do this because we are not sure if continue using it can cause more problems.
Therefore, we decide to use the other limb more. This will not only start applying more stress into that non-injured limb but it will also make the limb with the injury very weak!…
Of course every injury is different so does every individual. In some severe cases an injury has to be completely immobilised for a certain period of time like when a bone break is involved. So this statement above mainly applies to day-to-day joint sprains and muscle injuries.
Therefore it is very important to know how to immediately deal with this type of injuries. Here is a summary of what you need to do in order to help your injury heal well.
What to do after an injury:
- Avoid poking it to see if it still hurts!
- DO NOT stretch the injury!!!
- Rest that area/joint BUT not the whole limb!
- Keep moving the joints above and below carefully and sensibly.
- Don’t take anti-inflammatories right away.
- Use ICE therapy but possibly not straight after the injury. This is because you need to allow the initial phase of “bleeding” to happen first. Ice will restrict bleeding and your injury might not be supplied by the right amount of blood proteins and other substances needed for healing. Frequent use of ICE can also impact this. This great link illustrates these details: https://youtu.be/9bvMv5dQ7RU
- Be a patient patient and don’t try and “speed” your own recovery. Time is the best healer after all…
Thanks for reading!
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