Ice is considered the best treatment throughout the whole course of an injury, it is proven ice to be the treatment of choice due to its ease of application and effectiveness at relieving pain and muscle spasm and allowing increased motion and speeding the healing process.
Ice should be used initially to minimise the inflammatory reaction post acute injury for up to 72 hours. Maximum ice time is 20 minutes, so try and keep it to 15 minutes. If you feel any numbness STOP, to prevent any cold damage occurring.
R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is the recommended first aid therapeutic treatments for acute musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains and strains:
Rest – the affected area to protect it from further injuries.
Ice – reduces the swelling and inflammation by limiting the amount of fluid able to perfuse into the soft tissue surround the injury.
Compression – of the injured area helps to immobilise and protect the joint. It also helps to reduce swelling in the area by increasing the pressure, which helps prevent excessive swelling.
Elevation – the area must be raised immediately, preferably to a level higher than the heart. This allows gravity to drain the excess fluid from around the injured tissue back to the central circulation, resulting in decreased swelling.
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