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Sports Massage Leeds about sports injury first aid!

Sports Massage Leeds.

Sports Injury First Aid Manual

R.I.C.E M.E.

Sport and fitness activities enhance our lives, helps us to keep and feel younger, providing us with a challenge, satisfaction and pleasure. Regular exercise helps us feel fit and healthy. There are many websites where we can find amazing training plans and safety equipment but sometimes that’s not enough. We all want to push ourselves further, be faster, be bigger, score more goals and we all want a fast result without keeping IMPORTANT safety measure in mind. Sometimes we are lucky and are able to get what we want but unfortunately (more often than not) we injure ourselves.

All injuries can be divided into 2 categories

  1. Acute injuries: Traumatic injuries that happen suddenly due to an external factor or internal stress. You may suffer from sudden pain, swelling, bruising or wounds.
  2. Chronic injuries: Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) occur slowly and become worst over a time.

While it is not possible to cover all injuries and their treatment in this report I’ll concentrate on the most common types of – Acute injuries of soft tissue.

The fallowing plan should be applied on:

  • Ligament strain
  • Achilles tendon, partial or complete rupture
  • Tendon strain
  • Sprained ankle
  • Muscles pain and strain
  • Shin splints
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Direct blow injuries

No matter what your sport or activity is you should always follow the correct procedures to prevent further injury and speed up the healing process.

I’m about to introduce you to R.I.C.E  M.E. it is a procedure successfully used by many people around the word after sport or non-sport injury.

R-rest and immobilization to prevent further injury.

I-ice or cold compress applied on injured area.

C-compression to the area to reduce swelling.

E-elevation, using gravity to assist drainage from the area.

M-medical consultation & treatment.  You should see your GP for injury assessment and advice. Contact your local Sports Massage Clinic or Physio to arrange consultation (usually FREE) and treatment plan.

E-exercises. Your therapist should be able to help you choose the right set of stretching and strengthening exercise to speed up recovery.

[kc_background type=”1″]REST[/kc_background]– Definitely the most important and most difficult for many of you. When you are in pain you should stop doing what you are doing, this is your body alerting you that there is a problem.  In the last 3 years I have worked with many people (very common for bodybuilder and fighters) that very wrongly use “no pain no gain” saying. If you pull your muscles, don’t waste time wondering what your friends are thinking when you stop training, [highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]SIMPLY START THE R.I.C.E. M.E.[/highlighter]  procedure, it will help you to come back to training in few days, but if you ignore this, you are simply risking your minor injury increase in damage and rupture a muscle, than you will be out of training for many months and unable to train on 100% ever again unless you undertake medical surgery! [highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]So remember REST- stop doing what caused injury IMMEDIATLEY  to prevent further damage.[/highlighter]  Ideally the injured part of your body should be immobilized (depending of the degree of your injury).The injured part of your body should be rested (as much as possible) for first 24-48 hours. (Even if you have injured the upper part of your body you should avoid going for a run or any form of work out including your leg even virtually you don’t use injured muscles).

[kc_background type=”1″]ICE[/kc_background] – ice should be applied over the injured area as soon as possible. This will reduce the metabolic rate and oxygen requirement of the cells around the injury. Those cells would not receive oxygen because of the damage to blood vessels and would die resulting in secondary injury. Cold works as a pain killer also reducing the internal bleeding and swelling, reduce fluid exudate and bruising. There are few different ways of applying ice:

  1. A very popular option at the moment “Freeze Spray” used by professional medical staff working with athletes. Small, portable, fast and easy to use should be easy to find in every gym or sport arena. Alternatively you can buy one for yourself and keep it in your gym bag (cost about £4-£6). Read instruction before using!!!
  2. Ice pack- ESSENSIAL for anyone how participate in any sport! I just can’t stress this enough, an icepack should be in every household freezer J. Once again very easy to use. A good alternative to an ice pack would be bag of frozen peas!
  3. Ice cubes in a towel. If you have enough ice cubes you can use them. Popular while injury is sustained in a Nightclub environment J

Ice should be applied for about 10minutes every hour. [highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]Remove ice immediately if pale skin becomes very white and very dark for dark skin or when it became uncomfortable[/highlighter] . Take extra care while applying ice as it may produce “ice burns” when it is in direct contact with skin. ALWAYS put a tea towel between the skin and ice pack! Once healing is in a progress and the swelling subside reduce ice treatment to 3 a day!


[kc_background_pac_1_background_7][kc_background_pac_1_heading_7]Warning[/kc_background_pac_1_heading_7][kc_background_pac_1_sub_heading_7]BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE READ THIS FIRST![/kc_background_pac_1_sub_heading_7][/kc_background_pac_1_background_7]

NEVER, Never, NEVER use heat (deep heat cream etc.) in the acute stage of injury as it increases metabolic rates, and increase blood flow and swelling. Heat may be used in the recovery process later on. (Usually in 6-12 days but only after the bruising turns yellow)

[kc_background type=”1″]COMPRESSION[/kc_background] – Applying pressure to the injured area helps limit the bleeding into tissues. An elasticated tubular or crepe bandage should be use. Additional pressure may by applied if a layer of cotton wool is underneath the bandage.

[highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]DO NOT[/highlighter] use non-elasticated bandages on acute injury; strapping must stretch to allow for swelling. Too tight strapping will restrict the circulation and if the swelling increase, pressure under a bandage will increase causing further damage.

You must check the colour of the skin and swelling beyond the strapping regularly. Blue nails and white skin indicate strapping is too tight, if that happen you must release bandage immediately.

There are many different schools about using neoprene support long after injury accrued.


From my experience I’d say it’s not necessary as they restrict circulation which slows down healing process after initial 12-15 days. Those neoprene bands provide more psychological support than physiological (That is my point of view); especially most of them are sold in generic sizes (small, medium, large). If you really feel like you need that extra help speak to your local sports massage therapist, they should be able to help you using “strapping”.


[kc_background type=”1″]ELEVATION[/kc_background] – The injured part of your body should be supported in elevation if possible. Gravity will help drain excessive amount of fluid from the area, which will reduce the pressure and the pain around the damage muscle.

[kc_background type=”1″]MEDICAL consultation & treatment[/kc_background] – Accurate diagnosis is crucial for fast and maximum recovery. You should [highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]ALWAYS[/highlighter]  speak to you GP or even spent few hours in A&E to be assessed as soon as possible. They have the best qualification to help you with pain and advise you about recovery. Unfortunately in many cases your GP will send you home with ibuprofen only an extreme case are referred to physiotherapist and even than the waiting list is massive, but the good news is there are plenty of Sports Massage clinic in your area whenever you live. Give them a call and find out how they can help you or email me if you need any advice on how to get on with the recovery from injury.

[kc_background type=”1″]EXERCISES[/kc_background] – once your healing process is well developed stretching and strengthening exercises should be added. Your Sports massage therapist should be able to help you with this. Remedial exercises are different than your usual fitness or gym workout and should be done under your therapist supervision (at lease the first couple of times).

[highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]DO NOT[/highlighter]  do them if you are in pain!

[highlighter color=”yellow-vibrant” ]DO NOT[/highlighter]  force yourself to much. Rehabilitation may take few weeks! Be patient and it will pay off with a better recovery.


[kc_background type=”1″]REMEMBER[/kc_background]– this six step formula (R.I.C.E M.E.) is to assist you with better and faster recovery. Successful recovery depends on many external and internal factors and degrees of injury. Sometimes full recovery can not be achieved even if you apply R.I.C.E M.E. correctly.

To maximize your chance of success apply all six steps!

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Thank You.

Sports Massage Leeds