SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
To manage acute soft tissues injuries follow the POLICE principle. Start this straight away and get your injury assessed by contacting us here.
The POLICE Principle ( Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a modern/modified first aid method of pneumonic, R.I.C.E, (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate):
Protect the part from further injury. This could mean using crutches to protect an injured lower extremity, or using a brace/ sling to support the injury in the early stages.
Continue with protection until you have the injury assessed.
Optimal loading will stimulate the healing process as tendon, ligament and muscle respond to loading to promote healing. Use pain as a guide as to how much to load an injury. In the first 48 hours pain must be minimised. In some instances loading is not appropriate for example where a fracture is suspected.
Physiotherapy assessment of your injury will guide your optimal loading, until this occurs use pain as your guide.
Ice or cold applied through cold packs, cold sprays and cold baths lowers skin and tissue temperature and subsequently decreases pain and tissue blood flow. Do not apply direct to skin (except ice baths) to prevent frost bites. Ice should not exceed 20 minutes before being removed. Apply every 2 hours particularly to manage pain.
Compression helps to reduce/ prevent swelling, provide feedback and a bit of support. Compress by using a bandage under any ice. The bandage should be firm but not too tight so that it causes discomfort or interferes with blood flow. Keep bandage on as much as possible. Use of compression garments like Skins etc. can be helpful for lower limb injuries, wear them 24 hours a day.
Elevating the injured part above the level of the heart helps in reducing swelling and the accumulation of interstitial fluid.
Lower limb injuries should be elevated on a chair or pillows, upper limb injuries maybe apply a sling or use arm rest of chairs to keep arm from hanging down.
Ring us for an appointment on PH: 8633 1789