The PRICE Method of Handling Sports Injuries
You’ve likely heard the various methods for preventing sports injuries: do some warm-up exercises, stretch, drink plenty of fluids, and don’t overdo it. However, injuries can still occur even if you are young, healthy, and take precautions. When those situations occur, it is vital to give proper care and rehabilitation to the injured area. For those injuries that mostly require self-treatment, the Harvard Medical School has provided a five-point program using the acronym PRICE: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
If you have an open wound or a broken bone, a sterile bandage and a homemade splint respectively will help keep those healing tissues free from outside contamination. Sometimes, a little antibiotic salve and a bandage are sufficient, but more serious injuries require immediate medical attention.
Although you may feel restless because you can’t participate in your favorite activity, using the injured area too soon will only do further harm to the healing tissues. However, you can still exercise other parts of your body; for instance, if you injured your elbow playing tennis, you could either go on a walk or try an indoor exercise bike.
With its several beneficial effects as well as its affordability and accessibility, ice is a must-have when treating sports injuries, especially strains and sprains. Applying an ice pack on and off for the first few days after getting the injury will help reduce swelling and pain in the affected area.
Gently but firmly constricting the injured area will help reduce swelling, which can help prevent further complications. The key to compression is to compress it enough to where the blood flow is reduced, but not too much as to cut off circulation entirely, as the tissue still needs oxygen to survive. A doctor or physical therapist will help you learn proper wrapping techniques and placement so you can perform this at home.
This step reduces fluid build-up, inflammation, pain, and swelling, and when combined with the above techniques, will help you get back to your sport of choice sooner. Keeping the affected region above your heart is all that’s required to elevate the injury. Grab a few pillows and make yourself comfortable.
Having the right knowledge, awareness, and tools is essential for any situation, especially in regards to a sports injuries. If you need more information or assistance in dealing with an injury, contact us and we will be happy to help.