The first step in mitigating post-injury downtime is to know when you are injured and stop playing immediately. No one likes to be a “quitter”, but it can possibly save you weeks or even months of recovery time. The sooner you stop the less likely you are to keep doing more damage.
What are signs that you are injured? Pain is the number one signal. Being tired, sore or uncomfortable is one thing, but true pain is your body’s warning that something is not right. Disregarding pain can set you up for more serious injury with a longer recovery. Other signs include hearing or feeling a “pop”, sudden joint instability and swelling.
So you recognize that you are injured and you stop your activity; Now what? The most widely accepted first line of post-injury treatment is known by the acronym R.I.C.E. Therapy.
REST – Give your body time to heal! While resting your body can devote energy to repairing itself and you greatly up your odds of not turning a small injury into a bigger one by re-injuring yourself.
ICE – Cold compress constricts the blood vessels which will reduce swelling, pain and inflammation. However, it can also reduce healing agents in the blood from coming to the injured area to promote healing. For this reason, ice has become more controversial recently. Most health care professionals still believe icing for 10-15 minutes 3-5 times a day for acute (fresh) injuries will help. Just make sure to put your ice pack in a pillow case or have a thin layer between you and it or you can actually get frost bite and make things worse.
COMPRESSION – Applying compression can help keep the area from “blowing up” or becoming severely swollen. Wearing a medical-grade compression product on the affected area is best as it provides a gradient compression that is firmest farthest away from the body and slowly loosens as it nears the body. This not only keeps swelling down but also increases blood flow — so the bad stuff gets removed faster and the good stuff is still allowed in to start the healing process.
ELEVATION – Raising the injured area above the heart will encourage swelling to follow gravity and head back to the central body where it can be reabsorbed.
Remember that Bauerfeind is the “C” in R.I.C.E. Therapy
All Bauerfeind products with medical-grade compression can help reduce pain and swelling while increasing blood flow. This helps accelerate healing and can get you back in the game!
This information is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied on as a substitute for medical advice, evaluation or care from a qualified and licensed health care provider. The information contained here is not to be considered a plan of care of physical therapy.