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Injury management

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries are typically ligament sprains and muscle strains, tears and bruises. They should be treated using the method known as PRICED.

ProtectOnce an injury has occurred, it is of vital importance that the injured area and the player are protected from further injury. Failure to do so can exacerbate the problem and delay healing.
  • Abrasions / lacerations should be covered
  • The injured joint should be supported by taping or bracing
  • Weight-bearing should be avoided
RestAdequate rest to enable tissue healing and repair is vital for any injury. Remember - if it hurts, it is probably not good for the injury. Don’t put any weight on the injured part of the body.
IceApplication of ice to an injury helps prevent bleeding and further swelling. Regular use of crushed ice in a damp towel is helpful in shortening recovery time and decreasing pain in the interim. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes every 2 hours for the first 48 hours. Protection of the skin with petroleum jelly or oil avoids unnecessary thermal injury.
CompressionCompression of a soft tissue injury prevents swelling and shortens recovery time. Compression using a firm bandage is effective. Ensure that bandaging is not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes tingling or pain past the bandage. Bandage the area between ice treatments.
ElevationElevation of the affected area decreases swelling and pain.
DiagnosisEarly diagnosis by an appropriately qualified health professional and correct management are the fastest route to recovery. Consult a medical professional, especially if you are worried about the injury, the pain or swelling gets worse or the pain or swelling has not gone down within 48 hours.

Ice helps to prevent bleeding and further swelling

Elevation decreases swelling and pain

Once the injury has been diagnosed, avoid any element of HARM for 72 hours.

HeatCan increase bleeding and swelling and worsen pain and stiffness.
AlcoholCan increase bleeding and swelling as well as masking pain and the severity of the injury.
RunningRest is essential.
MassageBest avoided as it can increase bleeding and swelling, thereby delaying recovery.