Accidents happen. You cannot avoid them, no matter how safe you may be. Sometimes, when accidents happen it causes an injury to your body. Multiple first aid treatments exist that you should perform to treat a common injury immediately. Doing these things will hopefully mitigate the progression of the injury and lessen the ultimate harm and bodily damage it may cause.
Below are some tips as to what you can do immediately to treat common injuries.
When applying first aid methods for injury treatment, immediately apply the RICE protocol. This consists of:
Let’s break down how each of these can help. An injury cannot heal properly without rest. This pertains to an injury or simply recovering from the day. Rest is vital to healing and recovery.
Ice applied to the area immediately after injury, and a few times a day thereafter will mitigate swelling and pain. A certain amount of inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, but it needs to be kept in check and not allowed to progress indefinitely. Icing the area of injury will cause a constriction of the blood vessels. This in turn leads to less inflammatory substances being allowed to access the area. Ice should be applied for up to but no more than 15 minutes at a time.
After applying ice, a rebound effect of vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) occurs in the area which will help the flow of blood and deliver nutrients to the area. This may speed up healing.
There is no way to heal an injury quickly, especially without knowing the extent of the damage it may have caused. The speed of healing is determined by the area injured and the severity of the injury. Some areas of the body will take longer to heal no matter the injury. However, consistently applying ice to the area for a few days may help to speed things up.
Compression will also help to mitigate inflammation. This will also help to decrease swelling along with ice.
When elevation is added to the mix, raise the injured area above the level of your heart, if possible. This will encourage blood to flow more easily back into circulation where it is filtered and cleaned. For example, if you sprain your ankle, try to elevate it by laying down on a couch and resting your foot on a few pillows.
You know your body best, and you will likely be the one to make the most appropriate decision as to whether the injury that you sustained needs to be seen by a doctor requiring further care. If there is severe and intense unremitting pain, bleeding that won’t stop, or you heard something crack or pop – these are all examples of a serious injury that should be seen by a doctor.
Seek Professional Care
If after a few days of rest and healing, the pain does not diminish or it gets worse, it is time to see a doctor. Also, if after a few days you have not regained function that you may have lost due to the injury, i.e. being unable to walk on your ankle, this situation also will warrant a visit to your doctor. Additionally, if it will help your peace of mind to get the injury checked by a professional, we encourage you to do so. If the injury is orthopedic, please contact Dr. Burke Orthopedics to schedule an appointment to seek out treatment.
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