acute Injuries - Twelve9Teen Sports Physiotherapy

acute Injuries - Twelve9Teen Sports Physiotherapy


Tip # 2

Acute Injuries

Management of injuries—the 1st 2-3 days


R - relative rest – don’t do anything that hurts

E - elevation above level of heart

C—compression – firm compression bandage

I - ice – crushed ice in wet towel - 20 minutes

every 1-2 hours

P- pain limited (exercise)

E—exercise (pain limited)

Do no further HARM

H - heat ( heat rubs, hot showers, etc)

A - alcohol

R - running or aggravating activities

M- massage

for young men

See your sports physiotherapist ASAP! - within

the first few days, or alteast the first week.


Do you know why sports physios get you to elevate your


Because we want the blood and swelling to go back to heart

and away from the injury ASAP to assist with the healing.

How does elevation work?

Relative rest

What does relative rest mean?

It means rest the injured or painful body part—not

your whole body!

Do you know why?

Well, if you don’t rest the injured part, you are

more likely to injure it again or to damage it


And if you rest your entire body, your fitness,

strength and skills will go backwards.

Think about a recent injury you or a mate

had, can you think how ‘relative rest’

might have been applied?

Perhaps gravity and gradient?...

Can you design an experiement to show how elevation works

and why sports physios tell you to put the injury as high as

possible and above your heart?

© copyright 2008 Loretta O’Sullivan


sports physiotherapy for adolescents

Take your balloon again.


Take a balloon and half fill it with water.

Now squeeze the bottom half—what happens?

Squeezing the balloon is like applying compression to a swollen ankle.

Can you think back to your science lesions about pressure gradients?

Can you use pressure gradients to work out what happened when you

squeezed the balloon?


We all know we should apply ice to an injury—do you know why?

Can you apply the same principles to applying compression to a swollen


What happens to the temperature of the water inside the

balloon when you put ice on the surface of the balloon?

Hint: Conduction and Convention!

What happens to the speed/velocity of the H2O particles

when they are cooled down?

Pain limited exercise

How do you think this change in speed/velocity of the

fluid and particles might effect blow flow, inflammatory

processes and pain impulses in an injury?

We now know from ‘relative rest’ we need to rest the injured area, but did you

know that some movement or exercise of the injured area is actually good—so

long as it doesn’t hurt?

Our body responds to stress or load.

When we stress or load certain structures, the body builds more of that

structure to cope with the load.

Take for example—lifting weights.

When you lift weights, you build bigger and stronger muscles—but only the

muscles you work on.

If we don’t lift any weights, we don’t build much muscle.

If we lift too much weight, we actually tear our muscles.

Same thing applies when you have an injury—some load and stress (your sports

physio can give advice on how much) will build new strong scar tissue.

© copyright 2008

Loretta O’Sullivan

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