For small injuries that do not require immediate medical attention, here are a few guidelines:
This works for injuries such as ankle sprains, contusions/bruises or anything where you have swelling.
You want to rest the area to not cause further damage. Icing will slow down any swelling and help with pain. Gentle compression will also help to decrease or limit swelling. Elevating the body part will allow any fluid from the swelling to move out of the area.
Minor injuries should improve within 24-72 hours. If this is not the case, or if the problem worsens, you should seek medical attention.
When returning to activity after a minor injury, there should be little to no pain in the injured area. If you have pain after activity or return of swelling, this would suggest that the injury has not resolved and you may need to modify your activities. Often, switching to a less strenuous form of exercise or one that does not stress the affected area as much will allow you to continue being active while the area heals.
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