Self care for minor injuries

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This blog post takes a look at the ways in which you can treat minor injuries yourself without accessing healthcare.

For example, we are going to look at a ankle strain/sprain…

The ankle joint acts as a hinge between the leg and the foot. It is held in place by ligaments, muscles and tendons which facilitate a large range of motion at the joint. Due to this range of movement it can be susceptible to injuries.

Ankle Strain and Sprain:

An ankle strain or sprain is usually the results of a sudden twisting movement of the ankle where the ligaments, muscles or tendons are pulled in the wrong direction.

Symptoms of an ankle injury can include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or discolouration of the skin at the affected area
  • Rupture of the ligaments
  • Possible bone breakage
  • Dislocation of the ankle joint
  • Inability to put weight through the affected foot
  • Ankle instability

If the ankle injury is minor you should be able to treat this yourself by doing the following advice.

The recommendation for immediate treatment is ‘RICE’

RICE is an acronym for the popular treatment of some minor injuries to help reduce swelling, pain, and blood flow. Strains and sprains during sport are common types of acute trauma such as rolling the ankle when running.

These injuries can often be self-treated or managed at home by applying the PRICE/RICE principle. PRICE is the same acronym as RICE but contains an extra protective step.

Protection – Protect the injured area from a further injury such as the use of a support. This may also be useful when you start using the injured area again such as an ankle support to give you more confidence and support when running.

Rest – Avoid exercising the injured area, this may mean not participating in sport on an injured ankle, or by utilising a sling to reduce the mobility of the shoulder during daily tasks.

Ice – Apply an ice pack to the injured area every few hours for around 15 minutes. Be careful not to apply ice packs or  similar instruments such as a bag of frozen peas directly to the skin.

Compression – Supports and braces can help to reduce the inflammation of the affected area to help to reduce pain.

Elevation – To further reduce swelling and inflammation try to elevate the injured area.

Occasionally the ankle can continue to feel weak and unstable for a long period after a more serious ankle injury. This can make the ankle feel weak and like it might ‘give way’ when walking or completing daily activities. This increased instability can increase the risk of further injury or increase the risk of falls.

Total Body Orthotics has a wide range of ankle supports available for the immediate treatment of ankle injuries or for the long term management of ankle instabilities.

Total Body Orthotics offers face-to-face Clinical assessments for the provision, measurements and fitting of a wide range of orthotic devices from insoles to fully customised Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFOs). Appointments are based at our clinic at The Arcade, High Street, Eccleshall , Staffordshire, ST21 6BZ. There is a £50 assessment fee to access this service, just contact us to find out more or book an appointment.

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