What to do the First Few Days Post-Injury

Acute Injury Treatment

Rest?

Rest from painful exercise or a movement is essential in the early injury stage. We call this active rest. “No pain. No gain.” does not apply in most cases. The rule of thumb is – don’t do anything that reproduces your pain for the initial two or three days. After that, you need to get it moving or other problems will develop.

If you are unsure what to do, please contact your physiotherapist for injury-specific advice.

Ice or Heat?

Ice

Ice is preferred for the initial two or three days post-injury. Apply ice for 20 minutes each two to three hours for the first few days until the “heat” comes out of the injury. Ice should also help to reduce your pain and swelling in traumatic soft tissue injuries, such as ligament sprains, muscle tears or bruising.

Heat

It is preferable to avoid heat (and heat rubs) in the first 48 hours of injury. The heat encourages bleeding, which could be detrimental if used too early.

Once the “heat” has come out of your injury, heat packs can be used to stimulate blood flow. We recommend 20 minute applications a few times a day to increase the blood flow and hasten your healing rate.

Heat will also help your muscles relax and ease your pain. Heat Wheat Packs are an excellent home solution for a multitude of conditions.

Not Sure What to Do?

If you’re not sure what to do, please contact your physiotherapist to specifically discuss your situation.

 

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