These are sudden traumatic events. Examples includes rolling/twisting your ankle, getting hit hard on the thigh or falling and breaking a bone.
When you suffer an acute injury, you will have inflammation. The signs of inflammation includes:
* Heat: It will feel warm to the touch
* Altered Function: The injured structure/tissue will not move the way it is supposed to
With acute injuries, it is very important you do the following for the first 2 days following the injury:
* Rest--the injured tissue must be rested and avoid using it if possible to allow it to heal.
* Ice--apply ice to the area generally for about 20 mins. Remove the ice for about 40 minutes and re-apply ice again if you are able to. If possible, repeat this a total of 3 times per day.
* Compression--the injured tissue should be wrapped to minimize swelling and for protection.
* Elevation--if possible, raise the injured tissue above the level of the heart to minimize swelling and to help drain any swelling that has accumulated.
If for some reason, you are not able to do all four (rest, ice, compression, elevation, aka RICE), and only have time to do just one, make sure it is compression. As stated earlier, compression will offer some protection and will minimize any further swelling if you cannot rest the injured structure/tissue.
These types of injuries result from overuse and continual wear and tear. Chronic injures can also be acute injuries that have not been fully rehabilitated. These types of injuries include pain you suddenly experience on the side of your leg while running or ankle pain after walking or standing for long periods on an ankle that had been sprained years ago .
With chronic injuries, heat initially will typically help by encouraging blood flow to the area, thus minimizing muscle stiffness. Applying heat will also prepare muscles for the stretching and strengthening activities that are to follow. The stretching and strengthening exercises required will depend on your injury and stage of healing.
While the recommendations here are a good starting point for injury treatment and management, it is recommended that you see a healthcare professional (such physician, athletic therapist, massage therapist, etc..) for a complete assessment and treatment recommendations for your injury.
Until next time, stay healthy and keep moving!
I welcome any comments or questions you may have, so post them below (click on "comment" button). Help spread our wellness message by sharing, liking or tweeting.