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Acute Injuries occur suddenly during activities. Examples of Acute Injuries include sprained ankle, strained back, or fractured hand. When you have an acute injury there are things you can do to minimize tissue damage, protect from further injury and promote faster recovery. At Sherwood Park Sports Physiotherapy, we will help you to manage and recover from your injury.
Seek medical help -> early intervention is a key to diagnosis and recovery.
Protect the joint – the area may need to be taped or braced.
Do not use ASA type medications. ie. Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen unless advised by a physician.
Begin gentle range of motion as advised by your Sherwood Park Sport Physiotherapy therapist. A Cryokinetics Program (Ice and Progressive Exercises) can be initiated for most acute injuries at 24–48 hours post injury. This early rehabilitation program is very effective in promoting healing and preventing disuse atrophy and a loss of conditioning. See our therapists for an injury specific program designed for your acute injury.
For acute injury, common braces include:
The body’s injury recovery process is fueled by carbohydrates but we also need protein — the building blocks for building new tissue.
No – Some people believe that heat is just as good as cold for the treatment of inflammation, but this is not the case for acute injuries. Applying heat to an acute injury may feel good but will bring more blood to the area and cause greater “flooding” due to weakened and injured blood vessels around the injury site. After an injury, you want to stop bleeding, not encourage it. Remember, the less fluid that comes, the shorter the inflammation process is and the sooner healing can begin.
It is true that heat can reduce pain and stiffness, much the same that cold can, but it is because cold restricts the blood flow to the injured area and lowers the local metabolism, that it is used instead of heat to treat acute injuries.
As a general rule smaller body parts (i.e. finger and more superficial injuries) require a shorter time for ice treatment. For example, the recommended ice time for a sprained finger may be 10 minutes but an injury to your upper thigh could be 20 minutes. If the skin area you are icing becomes too pink the ice may have been on too long.
The first 24 hours after an injury can reduce your recovery time significantly by minimizing swelling. Professional athletes will often ice all through the first night with hourly 15–20 minute icings. If appropriate, you may want to aggressively ice your injury as well. Contact your SPSP therapist for proper care of your acute injury.