How To Identify Your Injury

Have you injured yourself within the last 0-72 hours? Here’s what to do next! Firstly identify if it is ligament, tendon, bone, nerve or muscular damage.

Sprain (ligaments) – Two bones or more are stressed, causing the ligaments to become overloaded and tear or rupture. Heat, swelling, bruising, throbbing, unable to weight-bear and the area would also have a dull or aching sensation.

Strain (muscle or tendon) – Muscle fibres or a muscles tendon connecting to bone over stretches or ruptures. Swelling, heat, cramping, dull ache or throbbing can be felt in and around the injured area. You might find it very difficult to contract the injured muscle and stretching can increase more discomfort.

Bone (fracture or stress fracture) – Overloaded Symptoms of a bone injury are worse at night, deep nagging, dull, severe, sharp and intolerable.

Nerve symptoms – Nerve root pain would be a sharp shooting sensation and a nerve pain would be associated with a sharp, bright, lightening-like feeling. These can occur if a muscle is compressing a nerve or a nerve is being trapped in the spine due to sudden trauma or imbalances of the body over time.


PRICE Protect Rest Ice Compression Elevation – Complete these steps within 0-72 hours of injuring a ligament, muscle or tendon (not a bone injury).

Protect  the area by using a support, this can be supportive shoes, wrist support or even a  shoulder brace.

Rest the injured area from activity and limit weight bearing during 0-72 hours. A sling, crutches or walking aids can be used.

Ice – complete the cold compress several times a day with an hour rest period, ice for no longer than 10-20 minutes at a time, with an ice pack, frozen peas or ice massage. When using an ice pack and frozen peas, please have a cloth or barrier between your skin and the ice to prevent an ice burn of the skin. Ice massage is really effective as you are applying a small amount of pressure to the area of pain and specifically targeting the pain.

Compression – using an elasticated bandage (tubular bandage) making sure it is the correct size for the injured limb. Only use this during the day to reduce swelling.

Elevation – of the limb can help reduce swelling by maintaining blood flow to and from the area. Please aim to keep the injured limb raised above the level of your heart.

Heat pack knee

Contrast Bathing – is a form of hot and cold applications of the injured area over a small period of time, speeding up the blood flow to remove damaged cells and then slowing down the blood flow to reduce the swelling. This would help with the remodelling of fibroblasts and collagen to repair the injured muscle, tendon or ligament.

Apply hot compress to the injured area or submerge in a bucket of water and then apply a cold pack, ice or cold water submerge.

Complete the following; hot for 2 mins, cold for 1 min, hot for 2 mins and cold for 1 min, repeat 2 – 3 times a day for 4 – 7 days. If you would like you can complete small circular motions or gentle stretches after the hot and before the cold submerge. At this point any stiffness and pain should have subsided enough to carry out light exercises.

Evening Post

Treatment – If the pain is intolerable, seek medical advice immediately.

If your symptoms reduce on completion of the PRICE procedure, start to introduce small movements such as circular motions and flexion and extension of the joint. Try to add a little bit of weight to the area if it is lower limb. If you are unsure on what to do next please complete the medical questionnaire to receive advice or to book an appointment with Shawnika Sergeant at Shawni Sports Therapy for treatment.