Treating Injuries

In case of a minor accident, this guide to treating injuries will ensure that everyone in the family enjoys a safe stay along the Crystal Coast.

Most sports injuries are either strains or sprains. These injuries are painful but can usually be treated successfully at home.

Strains result from “pulling” muscles and tendons that attach muscles to the bone. Sprains are more serious and occur when ligaments stretch or tear.

Symptoms of these injuries include pain and swelling in the first 24 hours followed by discoloration and stiffness.

The best home treatment is a three-step approach. Just remember the acronym ICE: Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Ice

The first thing to do to an injured area is apply ice, which will help reduce the swelling. Keep the ice directly on the area for 20 minutes. It’s best not to use chemical ice (the kind used in coolers) because the temperature isn’t low enough.

Also helpful is an ice massage. Use six-ounce paper cups to freeze water, then tear off half the paper and rub the ice on the swollen area for 8 to 12 minutes each hour.

Don’t apply heat until the swelling has gone down. Then alternate between hot and cold treatments to encourage blood flow.

Compression

Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage to help prevent further swelling and give support. Don’t wrap the area too tightly or wear the bandage overnight. You can also purchase an inflatable air cast at a pharmacy or medical supply store.

Elevation

Prop an injured leg on a chair and use a sling to elevate an injured arm or wrist. If problems persist contact a physician.