What to do in the first few days following an acute soft tissue injury.

Assuming your injury hasn’t required a trip to the hospital, for example it is a slight strain or sprain to the ankle, then following the RICE protocol will help your injury in the early stages of recovery. (If in doubt about the severity of your injury you should always seek the advice of a medical practitioner.)

If the area of your injury is still red and warm to the touch (compared to surrounding areas) then the best treatment for your injury is RICE:

Rest: This does not mean immobilise the injured area, it is better to gently move the joint keeping the movement in the pain free range.

Ice: Do not apply ice directly. The area should be iced for a maximum of 20 mins every 2 hours (the time should be reduced for small areas like ankles, wrists etc.) A good way to do this is to fill a polystyrene cup with water and freeze it. When using the ice gently move the ice cup over the inflamed area. Keeping the cup moving will prevent any tissue damage due to the cold. (Remember to have a towel nearby to catch the melt water).

Compression: This is to help limit the amount of swelling. Do not compress too much as that will cut off circulation. It is best to remove any strapping at night.

Elevate: This will help reduce the amount of waste, dead cells etc. from pooling.

How can Jīròu help? Once the redness and heat have gone from the injury site then we will be able to start your treatment and rehabilitation programme, using soft tissue techniques and exercise therapy.

Ice cup acute injury close up