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But don’t be fooled when it comes to dealing with your own injuries! Our blog this month details what you should do following an injury or muscle strain. The first 48 – 72 hours after any injury can be crucial and many patients underestimate how they can help themselves.
Resting the affected area is the most important thing you can do following an injury, as this minimises further damage and allows the body to start the healing process. Many patients have the belief that they should “carry on through the pain”, but this is the worst thing you can do! Depending on the extent of your injury, it is best to rest the injured area for a minimum of 48 hours, or at least avoid putting unnecessary stress on it. If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off it completely and not bear any weight on it for longer.
Following an injury, you should always ice the area immediately. A bag of ice or peas wrapped in a dish towel placed over the affected area has many beneficial effects. The coldness helps to minimise and control the degree of inflammation in the tissues. If this is done immediately then it can also prevent the area from becoming swollen and helps with pain. The affected area must be iced for 15 – 20 minutes, at least 3 times a day, for it to be beneficial.
Applying a light compression over the area with a bandage or some form of compression stocking will help to minimise the swelling. Take care not to apply the bandage too tightly otherwise you can compromise the circulation. The area should feel supported but not suffocated.
Elevate the injured part of the body above heart level. This provides a downward path for draining fluid back to the heart, which may reduce swelling and pain. For this to be effective you need to ensure your leg is above the level of your heart. You can lie down and use a pillow to help elevate the injured limb.
By following the above advice many small injuries will resolve on their own. However, if the pain, swelling, and inflammation persist then feel free to contact us. With the use of our Class 4 MLS Laser and detailed Gait Analysis using artificial intelligence software, we will have you back on your feet in no time!
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