What is an Acute Injury?
Acute Injury is a recent or sudden injury to a specific area of the body. Most people often think the word acute means ‘severe’ but in a medical sense, it denotes how long something has been around for! Most sporting injuries are classified as acute as they occur suddenly. Acute injuries can occur with a fall or impact, with a single event such as a sprained ankle or a sudden increase in back pain when bending forward. Acute injuries include ankle sprains, sudden neck or back pain, or muscular bruises from a sporting impact.
Acute injuries often require immediate medical treatment including generalised first aid treatment such as R.I.C.E, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Physiotherapy assessment and treatment thereafter.
What should I do to help ease the pain?
Rest: Resting the body part is extremely important – but often this is very overdone! Often when a medical professional recommends rest the patient often assumes it is complete bed rest – which often has more adverse effects than good! As such, we often recommend relative rest – don’t over do it, don’t try to run it off! But don’t become a couch potato at the same time! Modify any painful activities. If it hurts to run, try walking. If your usual F45 or HIIT class is uncomfortable, switch it out for yoga or Pilates for a less-impact exercise option!
Ice: Ice is anti-inflammatory and can also provide some short-term pain relief to the acutely injured body part. When applying the ice, do not have it directly on the skin. A wet tea-towel or chux wrapped around the ice pack is perfect (keep it applied for 20 minutes). After this time the body works to actively re-heat the area to prevent frostbite! For best results apply the ice for 20 minutes every hour, or for severe injuries you can have the ice on 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off!
Compression: Compression helps to reduce swelling, and in some cases can work as a pain reliever! A compression bandage is a good way to provide consistent compression, but in some ankle injuries, a soccer sock can work just as well!
Elevation: Elevation of an acute injury also assists with reducing the swelling. Generally speaking you’re looking to raise the body part to level with, or above, heart level.
Sudden pain? We’ve got your back!
City Physio is open 8.30am-6pm Monday to Friday, located in the MLC Centre (near Martin Place train station).
Call us on (02) 9223-1575 or Book Online Here to arrange a prompt consultation. Wherever possible we will squeeze you in or put you on our Urgent Wait-list so that we can sort your pain, and get you moving ASAP!.