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Junior Sport: Tips and Advice (What do I do with my Injured Body?)

After a muscle or joint injury the RICER protocol must apply for the next three to four days.

  • Rest
  • Ice: 15 minutes on/15 minutes off, at least for the first 24 hours. Then icing frequency can reduce to 15 minutes every two hours for days two and three
  • Compression: keep the injured area wrapped in a firm bandage; be aware not to affect circulation
  • Elevation: above the level of your body, until swelling subsides
  • Referral: to Southside Physiotherapy or your GP for assessment and advice

The No HARM protocol must be applied for two-three days following a muscle or joint injury. This will help to facilitate swelling reduction, reduced bleeding and promote quality repair (less adhesions, scar and fibrous tissue) and regeneration.

  • No Heat: as heat can cause increased swelling and bleeding
  • No Alcohol: causes increased capillary bleeding
  • No Running/Activity: can cause re-injury. The old adage “run it out” does not apply
  • No Massage: this can cause disruption to the repair process and further bleeding

Professional management for these injuries must be obtained.

There are FIVE main steps for complete recovery from injury:

1) Commence immediate management of the injury (as above)

2) Promote quality healing: while relieving pain, bruising and swelling, ensure scarring and adhesions are minimised

3) Commence rehabilitation immediately by doing basic exercises for;

  • restoring joint range of movement, strength, co-ordination and flexibility
  • progress as recovery occurs

4) Advice given for a graduated return to training and then sport

5) Appropriate bracing/strapping may need to be applied initially to protect the injury

Getting better is not just getting rid of pain and swelling, because the absence of pain and swelling does not indicate a full recovery during the recovery process.

Muscles weaken and shrink, joints become stiff, neuromuscular co-ordination is lost and flexibilty is reduced.

Complete restoration of these losses is necessary for a safe and permanent return to sport.

Please note: this information should serve as a guide only. When in doubt always seek advice from Southside Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre or your GP.

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