Has an injury recently occurred?
If so there ae a few things you can do to help yourself, speed up recovery, or to simply manage symptoms until you are able to see a qualified person to aid in the issue.
What use to be known as R.I.C.E Rest Ice Compress and Elevate has now been changed to the following acronyms: PEACE and LOVE
Protect from further damage, unload or restrict movement for between 1-3 days in the acute phase. This reduces bleeding and reduces the risk of aggravating the tissue damage, rest here needs to be short as too much may compromise tissue strength-let pain be your guide.
Elevate the injured limb/tissue above the heart, this may promote interstitial fluid (fluid within the tissue) to disperse.
Avoid Anti Inflammatory meds, taking these may inhibit the rate of recovery, as inflammation is needed to signal tissue healing, so by reducing this we may potentially increase the tissue healing time, essentially increasing the time taken to heal, as well as decreasing the quality of the healing.
There is also a big question as to the efficacy of using ice? Many practitioners still promote this, however some evidence may suggest that it disrupts the required inflammation, and new tissue/blood vessel formation.
Compress of an external mechanical form, such as a bandage or tape, this may help to reduce the intra-articular edema and tissue hemorrhage.
Education plays a vital role here, its important to seek advice from a qualified person to be able to explain that passive modalities such as electrotherapy or acupuncture after acute injury may habve a trivial effect on pain and function compared to an active approach. Load management and early stage rehab are extremely important.
Load, an active approach with controlled and relevant exercises benefit the majority of patients with musculoskeletal injuries. Optimal load for that person that does not increase the pain in the area promotes the greatest chance of recovery, and increasing tissue tolerance.
Optimism plays another crucial role in our recovery. The brain and mind are powerful tools that we can use to aid recovery. The need to avoid catastrophisation, depression and fear can present barriers to recovery.
Vascularization, or cardiorespiratory exercises, that are pain free should provide a cornerstone of musculoskeletal rehab. Dosage is still not decided, but what it does do is promote increased blood flow to the damaged structures increasing the amount of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the tissue to improve healing time.
Exercise plays a massive key here, exercise can help restore mobility, exercise, reduce pain through movement and strength and proprioception. Let pin be your guide, ideally no more than an uncomfortable 4/10 should be aimed for.