As soon as it happened, you knew. You knew straight away that something’s wrong.
It was just one sound. A snap, a pop, a crack, and then the pain hit you like a bolt of electricity.
Injuries can happen in an instant, and even when doing the most mundane things. For example, back pain, the third most common reason for seeing a doctor, can develop just by picking up a pencil off the floor.
You can’t turn back time to undo an injury. But it’s what you do post injury that will determine how fast you can recover from it.
Any injury is a frustrating experience but don’t let it get you down! Here’s what you should do to hasten the recovery process.
- A Healthy Serving of RICE
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. “P” was added later to make it PRICE. The P stands for protection.
It’s what you should do immediately after an injury.
Protect the painful part from further damage, for example, by using crutches. Stop doing the activity that led to the injury and Rest as much as possible for the first two days.
Ice and use Compression on the relevant area to reduce pain and swelling. Elevate the injured limb, above the level of the heart if possible, to control the swelling and bleeding.
- Pain Relief Post Injury
Don’t try to tough it out.
When it comes to pain management, you have plenty of options. Analgesics, such as paracetamol, can alleviate the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can reduce swelling as well.
These examples are all over-the-counter but that doesn’t mean that they’re completely safe. Consult your doctor if there are other drugs that you take regularly.
You can also check out alternative methods for pain relief such as acupuncture and massage.
- Try Physiotherapy
You may benefit from going to a physical therapist or other specialists, especially if you’re dealing with a long-term injury.
It’s common, after an injury, to have a degree of loss of function to the injured part. The goal here is a return to baseline.
Techniques such as massage and targeted exercises can help you regain range of motion, strength, and performance. As you continue with therapy, you can slowly but surely return to normal function.
- Maintain Your Overall Condition
In the acute phase of injury recovery, yes, you should rest.
After that phase is over though, it’s important to stay in shape to accelerate healing. Even if one limb is immobilized, you can exercise the other healthy muscles in your body.
For the injured limb or joint itself, you can’t go back to the previous level of activity that you’re accustomed to right away. You can start with gentle range of motion recovery exercises until your strength returns to normal.
- Prevent a Repeat
Understand how the injury happened and make adjustments. Did you hurt yourself from a sudden workout? Maybe you should do some stretching first and spend a couple of minutes warming up.
Take the proper precautions this time to prevent future injuries.
How to Recover From an Injury
What you do or not do post injury can be the difference between a quick recovery or a more serious complication. Getting over an injury isn’t the easiest thing in the world but you can get a leg up if you follow the steps in this article.
For more health and lifestyle tips, feel free to browse the rest of our site.