Ahh .. such a stressful topic for me. I was a victim in an accident last year that has been giving me troubles ever since. While I’m not going to talk about that, specifically, let’s talk about what to do when we are injured, whether exercising or in everyday life ..
So, the question is .. what do we do when we get hurt?
Remember this .. RICE .. AKA rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Rest .. does not mean go to bed (darn!) but instead means to rest the injury. Is it an ankle or foot? Get weight off of it. Is it an arm, shoulder, etc? Try to limit the movement. The muscles are injured and need the body to limit additional stresses so that it can repair itself.
Ice .. I have always been told that you should apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or so times a day. It’s advisable to ice quickly after an injury.
Compression .. if possible, wrap the area with an bandage as this helps to reduce swelling. Just make sure you don’t wrap it too tightly that you cut off circulation! This should not be for more than a few days .. if it still hurts after that then I’d definitely be visiting a doctor.
Elevation .. You want to elevate the injury, possibly on pillows, any time you are icing the injury and also anytime you are idle. Try to keep the injury at or above your heart, which help with the swelling.
While this helps with injuries it’s also important to mention this .. know the difference between an injury that you can heal with RICE and an injury that needs to be looked at by your local physician. If it’s a severe enough injury, above may help, but not visiting the doctor may mean the difference between a shorter recovery and a longer one.
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