Many Osteopathic patients at HealthState, are often confused about how to treat an injury they have had. Do I Ice it? Do I Heat It? Should I go to Hospital? What drugs should I take?
Here are some simple tips that may be able to help answer some of these questions.
An acute injury is usually something that has happened from today up to 2 weeks. This injury will be inflamed, meaning more blood is in the area to start the healing process, (for all open wounds or head traumas where you are bleeding then please to consult your GP or go straight to a hospital). For all other cases Ice is the best anti-inflammatory you can get and its free from the freezer, it won't interact with your current medication, and it won’t give you a stomach ulcer. It also targets the source of the inflammation unlike medication, which will target the whole body.
Inflammation typically lasts 3-5 days, so ice is recommended every half hour through this period. Ice the region until the skin goes numb, remove, wait for the region to warm again, and repeat. If it is a severe injury then RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are initially recommended and considered the gold standard.
As soon as the inflammation has reduced, a small amount of movement is essential to maintain the circulation, lymphatic drainage and to aid the natural healing process and the ability of the body.
Many people brace the area for too long which lengthens the healing time. Unless you have a fracture, do not continue to brace an injured area beyond the point of the natural healing times. This will only further weaken and impede the healing process, and it will take you a lot longer to get better. Braces and strapping are only recommended in my opinion when you are unable to rest the injured area due to work or other commitments. Only use the brace for the time you are using it (for example playing a footy game). Then follow the inflammatory principal and RICE it as soon as possible.
A chronic injury is anything that has lasted for over 3 months, or some say 6 months. Either way, these are most injuries. In today's world, we are living in an epidemic of chronic pain and disease. For an injury that just won't get better, alternate heat and cold to stimulate the circulation and lymphatics. Start moving the area and working through it with Osteopathic treatment or even massage if you cannot get to an Osteopath. Because chronic injuries have stagnated for so long it needs to start moving, and with this comes relative pain. Breathe through the pain of the injury and restart the healing process.
The best thing you can do for yourself if you are in chronic pain is to break the cycle. After several months your brain has rewired itself, and the nerve and hormonal signals that your brain is sending to the rest of your body indicate pain. These need to be retrained by YOU.
Exercise every day, eat a rainbow of colourful foods and full flavour diet, drink lots of water, limit toxins, support local farmers and distributors, so you are not caught in this mass monopoly, educate yourself so if you are made redundant due to current technological advances then you have something to fall back on. Finally, love yourself.
To make an Osteopathic appointment please visit us at www.HealthState.com.au and book online or contact us on 0404001172
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is informative only and is my opinion. It does not constitute medical advice. Always consult your GP or medical specialist before changing or coming off any medication.