Immediate Response to a Leg injury is PRICE-less:
From stepping off the curb to participating in sports, ankle and knees are susceptible to injury, as it is a very common injury of twisting an ankle. It is important to know the proper steps to recover from the injury before it progresses to something requiring medical attention. To keep it simple, follow the acronym PRICE.
PROTECT: Protecting your injury is providing bracing or wraps to limit the motion and support the tissues involved. During the initial injury, a tissue can be stretched to a length that is exceeding the normal lengths, causing inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury by causing increase blood flow to the site and providing healing agents. Inflammation is normal and necessary however, excessive can be problematic.
REST: Limit your activities to what you need to do and pressure placed on the injury. This includes limiting walking by using crutches, cane, or walker if placing added pressure causes discomfort. Don’t participate in sports, running, or long walking. If you are an athlete, to keep up your cardiovascular training, try aquatic training, as water takes pressure off of the joints, by a property known as buoyancy.
ICE: Use ice to control the inflammation. As walking and daily activities can cause increase inflammation, ice helps to prevent inflammation from increasing. The properties of ice is vasoconstriction, decreasing the size of the blood vessels in the area, hence limiting localized inflammation. No longer than 15 minutes is suffice.
COMPRESSION: Bracing, elastic wraps provide added pressure to the area to prevent swelling.
ELEVATION: By elevating the joint above the heart, it helps with pumping the increase blood flow to return to back to the heart.
The best advice to work PRICE into a busy work day, protect through out the day, if you have time or at the end of the day, when sit down to watch your favorite T.V. show, rest, ice, compress, and elevate your injury. As always, if your injury is more serious and the pain persists with taking these steps or popping, snapping, or bruising is involved, seek the care of a medical professional.