First Aid

Following any acute injury, to soft tissue or bone, the first 72 hours or 3 days are very important in minimizing swelling, bleeding and ultimately the formation of scar tissue and adhesions. Careful management in the first 72 hours can significantly shorten the time taken to return to normal activity and sport.

The principles are simple.

As soon as possible after the injury, and for 72 hours after the injury, you should adopt basic first aid principles by using the RICER method:

  • Rest – Take it easy and only move within your limit of pain.
  • Ice – As soon as possible, and for 20 minutes every two hours, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a damp towel. This helps to control bleeding and pain and reduces secondary tissue damage.
  • Compression – Firmly bandage the injury. This helps to control swelling.
  • Elevation – As much as possible, elevate your injury higher than the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
  • Referral – to a physio or sports doctor for diagnosis, advice and ongoing treatment.

Avoid any of the HARM factors in the first 48 hours to prevent increased swelling and help your recovery:

  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Running
  • Massage

By closely following this protocol you will return to sport and activity sooner.

Common Problems