Monday, November 5, 2018

Immediate Injury Management

By: Joel Luedke

Anytime you are engaged in an athletic activity you risk injury.  Those injuries can range from something acute and traumatic that can set you back from a long time and lead to surgery to something that builds over time and then causes chronic pain and problems.  How you manage those injuries especially early on can have a huge impact on how your recovery process plays out.

In this short article we want to take a look at how to manage an acute injury like an ankle sprain or minor knee sprain to help jump start the healing process.

Protect and Move

Seems counterproductive to try and do both but it really is a huge part of getting your body in the right spot to start healing.  We want to protect for as much of the day/night that we can and put your body in the best position to heal during those times.  In the example of an ankle sprain that means a walking boot which is not a death sentence but more a treatment during the day.  We want no pain so we can be set up to have the best treatment and rehabilitation setting that we can.

That is where the movement part comes in.  "Use your brain, no pain" is our slogan when it comes to movement early on in the process. Going along with our ankle sprain example this means ankle pumps, writing the ABCs with your big toe and getting the bodies natural swelling removal system to do its thing in helping the injury process.  As you progress through the injury you want to increase the level of movement and work your way to return to play.

Rest as Much as You Need to but No More
This can be the hard part of the rehab process.  When to start moving forward and when to hold back in the rehab process. We want to make sure that we do take some rest early on, let the healing process get started and then introduce movement as soon as we can but no sooner.  This is where the testing process comes in and makes the protection portion from above so vital.  You can get the rest in between rehab sessions along with returning to activity.  Don't wait too long but make sure you listen to your body as you go.

Is Ice Right
Without getting too far into the argument (please see the links below) ice is really your decision.  Do we think it adds to the rehab process?  Not so much and in fact can actually slow things down during the process.  There is little to no solid evidence showing how it enhances the function of trying to get swelling to evacuate and get more into the rehab process.  If it makes you feel that much better, by all means, but don't just throw a bag on for the sake of doing it.

LINK: Is Ice Right?
LINK: "Can I have a Bag of Ice?"

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