Knowing what to do if you sustain an injury is pretty important if you want to ensure that you assist natures healing process and help get yourself back to running.
The acronym POLICE is a useful guide.
Stop running if you have injured yourself. Rest. Get off the pitch/ road/ track! You might even have to use crutches to take the pressure off the injured part in the short term.
Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs in the first 48-72 hours – the reason being that the process of inflammation is a necessary one and trying to stop it may hinder the chemical reactions required for good, fast healing.
O–L optimal loading:
Begin weight-bearing early but always be guided by pain and the guidance of a health professional. Stressing tissues gently will assist good scar formation and motor patterning i.e get you moving more normally. The right amount of activity can help manage swelling and reduce joint stiffness, muscle weakness and tightness.
Applying crushed ice/ frozen peas to an injured and swollen area can really help calm the pain and help you get back to moving normally. Research suggests that an intermittent regime may be most effective-i.e. 10-15 mins with the ice on, 10 –15 mins ice off then 10-15 mins ice on again.
Don’t apply the ice directly to the skin but through a damp tea towel to avoid an ice burn.
Using a double tubigrip bandage or a compression garment will help reduce swelling. The area should feel like it is being compressed but not painful. Remove the bandage at night.
Elevating an injured knee or ankle can help reduce pain and swelling.
Gentle exercises to assist the circulation whilst in elevation can be very helpful.
SO REMEMBER POLICE WHEN YOU SUSTAIN AN INJURY.