An acute injury is one that is caused by a single force or load and creates tissue damage and immediate pain. The time required to recover from an acute injury is based largely on how quickly you can minimize the tissue damage and inflammation.
There is a 72-hour window, following the time of the injury, that you have to optimize the speed of recovery. If you do not take proper care of an acute injury, excessive inflammation can compound the problem, resulting in a requirement for more treatment time and further delaying your return to full activity.
Follow these steps to help your body recover faster so you can get back to your regular activities:
Rest- stop any and all activities that aggravate the injury. The length of rest depends on the tissue involved and severity of the injury. Use common sense.
Ice- when you apply ice to the damaged tissue it reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain. Ice should be applied for a MAXIMUM of 20 minutes and should not be reapplied until the area has regained full sensation.
Compression- any time the injured tissue is below the level of the heart it should have some form of compression (stocking or wrap) on it. If you can change your position so that the injured area is above the level of your heart, compression is no longer required. This also helps to reduce swelling.
Elevation- elevating the injured tissue above the heart helps to reduce swelling and is encouraged when possible.