http-equiv='refresh'/> Global Therapies: What can we do for injury? Part 1: ACUTE

Monday, 23 January 2012

What can we do for injury? Part 1: ACUTE

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Looking back over notes that I wrote a few years ago, studying to be a Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist, I came across a few things that I thought might be interesting reading about recovery from injury and what you as an individual can do, and what Sports Massage can do to help recover.
Injuries in ACUTE stage - immediate to 72 hours after injury.
Perhaps the most important time period of all. Normally the time when you sit there thinking... its not all that bad, maybe I can just try and walk on it. "AGH" no. Not yet.
Maybe now? "AGH" nope. Not yet. (etc, ad nauseum). This is perhaps NOT the best thing to be doing.

What is happening in your body?
Arteries, veins and capillaries are dilating (getting bigger), bringing blood to the area hence it will be
RED, warm (potentially hot) and blood plasma will be escaping.
Blood will bring fibroblasts and macrophages to the area.
Macrophages "eat" dead tissue which has been injured.
Fibroblasts synthesise ground substance to begin the healing process.
PAIN is produced by pressure from the SWELLING and the release of chemicals like histamine which stimulates pain receptors.

What can you do about it?  RICE:
  • REST
  • ICE
DON'T test it, if it isn't as bad as you fear it is, it will get better soon, if it is as bad as you fear it is, the RICE protocol will set you up perfectly for the next stage.
Protect the area - ensure you keep the area immobile and safe from knocks and bumps. This will probably be a natural reaction anyway.

What can a Massage Therapist do for you?
Assistance with pain management and support rest and sleep. The body needs to be relaxed and put into a less stressed position. The injured area may be looked at, and lymphatic drainage AWAY from the site toward the body will be useful - getting the waste products from the injury away from the area so they can be re-synthesised or excreted from the body, supporting circulation and enabling the body to be less stressed in general are some of the best things you can do for it at this stage.
We can also provide reassurance about your injury, or advise you to get it checked out further (for example for xrays) if we think the injury is more serious than you first thought.
Next post I'll look at things which happen and can be done in the Sub-Acute stage. From 3 days after the injury to approximately 6 weeks after. There will be a final post in this series covering the Chronic stage.

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