For many of us keeping fit is a hugely important part of daily life. We strive to keep healthy and do some form of exercise on a regular exercise to maintain or improve our shape, fitness or general health.
However a huge number of us, whilst doing our exercises, will experience aches and pains that are not just from working the muscles but due to something which ‘doesn’t feel quite right’ – you’ll know the difference. From listening to patients I think the majority of people would opt to take some rest from that activity and hope it improves, they might put some ice on it or do a few stretches to see what happens. After a few weeks, feeling a bit fed up from not being able to do what they enjoy/need to do they’ll return to the activity and hope for the best. However in my experience this is when they consider coming for physio too as they realise that things aren’t quite a well as they’d hoped.
The acronym RICE rest, ice, compress, elevate is certainly a good place to start and many things respond well to it and improve faster than if it hadn’t been done.
Rest – gives time for healing – a couple of days will have a huge impact,
Ice – this helps with pain relief and swelling,
Compress – helps to reduce the swelling, and
Elevate – helps the swelling move the lymph glands which are found around our hips in our lower limbs and armpits in our upper.
A support in the first few days may also be helpful such as a sling or pair of crutches. If you think that something has been badly damaged it’s worth going to the GP or seeing a physio to find out the best plan of action.