Life, as we know it, won’t always go to plan, and occasionally we run into accidents and incur an injury or two. This early stage is known as the acute phase, where trauma has just occurred and the body is attempting to heal itself. These injuries occur as a result of a sudden traumatic event; eg. a slip, trip or fall at home or a sporting injury. From the moment of injury, it is acute. After three months, the injury is chronic and becomes a health burden requiring more treatment. It is important to aim to be healthy as possible. The key is to Practice Prevention and Early Intervention.
Immediately following an acute injury, Massage is not recommended. Instead, follow the PRICE principles of care:
- P: Protect the site of injury and avoid further harm/damage.
- R: Rest the injured area, giving the body the opportunity to start the healing process.
- I: Apply ice to the area, decreasing pain and reducing uncomfortableness.
- C: Compress the area to reduce swelling and inflammation
- E: Elevate the site of injury, reducing blood flow that can contribute to the formation of oedema.
Approximately 48-72 hours after injury, depending on the severity, is when remedial massage can start being utilised to aid in the recovery process. The benefits of receiving remedial massage during recovery are many:
- Can reduce the formation of scar tissue.
- Improve tissue healing.
- Ease muscle spasms that are a result of pain.
- Decreased pain and the need for medication.
- Reduce levels of stress associated with the injury.