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What can I do now? 2017-05-19T14:50:22+00:00

WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

The immediate management of soft-tissue injury.

It can be argued that the most important period in terms of minimising the effects of an injury, and helping to make the rehabilitation process easier, is how that injury is managed in the first 48 hours. There is no doubt that injuries and the subsequent prognosis for recovery can be made longer with inappropriate behaviour during this time. Below is a guide which has been used in professional sport to inform players as to how they should manage their symptoms from the time their injury occurs.

Things TO DO – the PRICE principle:

  • P rotection – immobilize injury wherever possible, this may include the use of crutches, slings or a brace
  • R est – as guided by your physiotherapist
  • I ce – treat 20 minutes every two hours with an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel to avoid burn
  • C ompression – with strapping or tubi-grip, DO NOT wear compression over night
  • E levation – keep injured area above the level of your heart wherever possible

Acute and Chronic spinal injuries

Hot or cold: Hot or cold packs or sometimes a combination of the two, can be soothing to chronically sore, stiff backs. Heat dilates the blood vessels, improving the supply of oxygen that the blood takes to the back and reducing muscle spasms, which is often helpful with chronic conditions. Heat also alters the sensation of pain. Cold may reduce inflammation by decreasing the size of blood vessels and the flow of blood to the area. Although cold may feel painful against the skin, it numbs deep pain often associated with acute spinal injuries. Applying heat or cold may relieve pain, but it does not cure the cause of chronic back pain.

Exercise: Although exercise is usually not advisable for acute spinal pain, proper exercise can help ease chronic pain and perhaps reduce its risk of returning.

Stretching: The goal of stretching exercises, as their name suggests, is to stretch and improve the extension of muscles and other soft tissues of the back. This can reduce back stiffness and improve range of motion.

Medications: A wide range of medications are used to treat chronic back pain. Some you can try on your own. Others are available only with a doctor’s prescription. Analgesics and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the main types of medications used for back pain.