Many injuries cause swelling, numbness and loss of motion to a limb. This is a daily occurrence in a life worth living. Either use it or lose it due to in activity. Now, the caveat is that if you do use it you will ding it, hurt it, injure it or break it. That’s just how it works.
A typical sprain or strain will require time to heal and some sort of modified activity. Yes, you will need to use it so that you can get some relevance to what you were doing in order for the muscles not to shorten too much or tendons to get too tight on you due to self splinting.
There Will Be Swelling!
One of the self care modalities out there for AT’s, PT’s, OT’s and Coaches has been the availability to Ice just about anything and everything out in the field of competition and training. Humans are intended to move, and swell, and hurt themselves. It’s jut how we are. Play hard, train hard, pay the piper time.
Recommendations for icing have been around for some time now, with the acronym “RICE”.
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compress
E – Elevate
Well, that’s all fun and dandy but you have to move and take care of work, kids, cooking, living, etc. In the ever evolving market place that caters to athletes there is a plentitude of bracing for icing / bandaging an injury. Go to your local sporting good store and it will be obvious that Professional Teams are no longer the only ones outside of Collegiate Teams to acquire and implement such contraptions for icing. Shoulders, wrists, ankles, back, knees, legs, you name it I believe some company out there possibly makes it.
What I recommend for you and your injury is very simple. The “C” in the RICE means that you apply the ice then compress the injury with a bandage (Heat). Well, you need to use an ice cube on the area first. Application of ice directly to the injury as soon as possible has a greater chance of pain reduction, de-inflammation and increased chance of healing faster. Application of heat at this stage is not so great as is the cooling and lowering your pain.
Reading many findings will leave your head spinning as to how to take care of that injury that you just acquired. Listen to your body, if you don’t you will be paying a bigger price that even ice application will be only as a drink cooler. Seek medical advice when and if your PT, AT can not help you stretch it out, exercise it or gets better quickly with movement.
Swelling is your body’s way of healing, but for prolonged periods of time and limited range of motion (ROM) and continuous or increasing pain you should go see your doctor ASAP.