Health and Wellness

Rice

As strong and powerful as bodies can be, injuries happen more often than anyone wants. Something as simple as a wrong step or poor body mechanics can result in an injury. Making a decision on how to handle an acute injury is important. Some can be handled with self-treatment such as RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Getting into the doctor or a physical therapist the same day is not always feasible, but very possible, and is a good first step. In the meantime, while waiting to see a provider, RICE is a helpful tool to use.
Rest is important prior to acute injuries to prevent further injury. When injured, bodies do what they can to compensate for the injured area, trying to function as normal. The issue with the body compensating for an injury is the potential for aggravating other areas of the body with the drastic changes in body posture and mechanics. Rest can help promote healing while also guarding bodies from further injury.
Ice can help reduce swelling and bring down inflammation in our bodies. Easing the inflammation in the injured area can help promote faster healing. Compression, like a brace or an ace bandage, can bring some pain relief and can help to reduce swelling. Elevating the injured area above the heart reduces swelling as well.
More severe injuries require immediate medical care, or monitoring for a day or two before seeking help from a healthcare provider. Use best judgement when deciding on how to proceed.
Some acute injuries, such as lumbar pain, tend to heal quicker when medical help is sought out soon after injury. Ideally, patients are seen as soon as possible after injuries. As injuries can affect all aspects of our lives, our physical therapy team strives to do all they can to limit the disruption that injures have to everyday living. Whether it is a motor vehicle accident, sprained ankle or an injury to the lower back, it is advantageous to be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible to discuss treatment options to prevent further injury or other complications.
These steps may not all be appropriate for all injuries but provide a thorough checklist for patient’s to process when dealing with an acute injury. If symptoms increase or do not change within 24-48 hours, contact a medical provider.