When your mean personal trainer has made you do lots of homework training and you have tripped on a child’s toy and bruised your ankle, the rehabilitation protocol of RICE should be used. This stands for Rest Ice Compression and Elevation. I have been through Ice and Elevation in previous blogs but today we will have a look at elevation. The aim of elevation is to lower the blood pressure and therefore limit the bleeding in the tiny blood vessels at the site of injury. This reduces swelling and so reduces the pain.It also encourages drainage of the lymphatic system which gets rid of dead blood cells. So by using gravity we limit the body’s overreaction to injury and help the remodelling phase get started sooner. To elevate the injured limb use a cushion or pillow and do it as soon as possible after the injury and continue for 48-72 hours thereafter every couple of hours if you can.
After 2-3 days though it is vitally important to get the injured area moving; this prevents scar tissue forming and allows both muscle and soft tissue to heal so that it will regain it’s former glory.