Injuries are part and parcel of exercising. There is always a risk of injury when exercising and that risk is increased with the more force that we put on our bodies.
The real question is, if and/or when we do get an injury, what do we do? For the first 48-72 hours there are two acronyms to remember that are easy to follow and will help you get on the road to recovery quicker before starting physiotherapy.
The first of these acronyms is HARM.
These are the things that you should be avoiding after your injury:
In the first 48-72 hours of an injury, we don’t want to be putting heat on the injured area as it will promote more inflammation and create more swelling in the affected area. Alcohol also creates more inflammation and slows recovery, leading to more time out from doing your favoured exercise. Running is obviously a no no, especially for pelvic or leg injuries. It can further damage the affected area and create more problems now and further down the track of recovery.
No massage! Yes that’s right, NO MASSAGE for the first 48 hours. Massage will only increase circulation and increase inflammation to the affected area, as well potentially increase damage to the injured muscle.
After 48 to 72 hours, it is a great time to come in and get your injury looked and assessed and treated where possible, with our dedicated team of sports therapists, myotherapists and also a physiotherapist working 2 days a week, we will be able to help you get the best treatment possible and speed up your recovery to get you back out exercising as soon as possible.Massage in the second stage of recovery (increasing range of motion) is good at helping clear any remaining remnants of inflammation from the injured area, and will also help to make sure the muscle fibres heal in line with everything else, and that we don’t end up with a lump of scar tissue later down the track.
The second acronym is RICER.
These are the things you should be doing after your injury:
Resting the affected area is important so you don’t continue to injure the area and make it worse. Icing the area will give some mild pain relief and help reduce inflammation at the injured area, as a result boosting recovery time. Compressing the area with a bandage or a compression sock will give some support to the surrounding muscle tissues and joints and reduce inflammation to the area. Elevating the injured muscle where possible, particularly the lower limbs, will help prevent a great deal of inflammation going to the injured area. Referral, come and see us to help you out!
Ridding the injury site of inflammation as quickly as possible is necessary to help regain full range of movement and therefore start recovery and strengthening exercises so you can get back to doing what you love sooner.