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Hold the Ice! and Flip the Switch on First Aide

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Use Tylenol, heat, compression, and gentle movement for the fastest recovery. Read to understand the WHY.
Research that advocated the RICE response to joint sprains, strains and muscle tears were reset only 3-years after publishing.

How many times have we reached for an icepack when injured? We have been a generation influenced by the RICE response to tissue injuries that include strain and sprains. But published research of long-term costs, dispute the practices of Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate. Instead, Activity-Compression-Elevation has replaced the practices of icing and long-term rest of tissue injuries that can and do take months of purposeful support.

LOGIC: During the first 72-hours of healing following an injury, the body sets up the worksite necessary for healing. The first responders are cellular project managers that assess damage and make assignments. Both icing and anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS like Ibuprofen and Naproxen, FREEZE this planning process never to be reinstated. Long-term chronic pain can result with this frozen and thus incomplete healing process.

Instead of ice and anti-inflammatories, it is still recommended to elevate and compress or wrap. Acetaminophen can be used to reduce pain for the first 72 hours after an injury. Then, icing and anti-inflammatory use can commence.

Activity is the second consideration. The healing cells that do not get assigned through the initial stages of healing or as a result of too much rest can default to bone cells embedded in the muscle--ouch!

Careful warming-up of the area for LIGHT activity can encourage appropriate healing for the endgame of restored movement. Transitioning to full activity is reasonable when there is NO pain when inactive and little pain during your chosen activity.

One over-the-counter support for cartilage building is Glucosamine WITH Chondroitin. Chondroitin breaks down the tissue providing Glucosamine with the necessary materials to build. Consulting with your doctors or their triage nurses about this and other supplements for personal use is wise.

We've all likely seen red inflamed cuts and surgical sites. Research shows that triple-antibiotic ointment speeds healing because it addresses infection. If after use the area is still red and inflamed, the infection may require an antiviral. When after these measures the site is still red during the days of healing, it may require an antifungal. For small paper cuts that keep opening with handwashing, using a Liquid-paint on Bandage after the bleeding has stopped reduces the need for traditional bandages and allows the healing to continue. I'm really grateful for Instant Care Medical supports when I have questions beyond my annual appointments and blood work.

Finally, before our first grandchild was born, my daughter and I took the Red Cross First Aide Class. Being educated, reminded, and prepared with tools on hand better ensures wiser decision making in the moment of an emergency or injury. I learned somethings that I didn't know about taking care of low-grade burns and many other situations. The Red Cross has published a First Aid App that takes the thinking out of an emergency when we are in fight and flight and still want to help until a 911 response is secured. Load it onto your phone for free, today:)

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