Dr. Naticchia Knows...PRICE Your Injuries
Summer is here! And with it comes injuries like ankle and wrist sprains that often heat up when you’re at the beach, pool and on the playground. If you’re heading on vacation, hosting pool parties, or coaching summer sports, it’s good to be prepared should an injury occur.
Here’s a helpful mnemonic so you know what to do.
It is called P-R-I-C-E, which stands for:
Protection means preventing further injury by removing the injured person from the activity. Protection also stands for protecting the injury and providing comfort. Everyday objects such as a newspaper for a splint or a t-shirt for a sling can be used to provide comfort and stabilize the injury.
Rest is either complete rest or relative rest depending on the injury. A good rule of thumb is to remove the person from activity, and start with complete rest of the injured area.
Ice is cold therapy to minimize pain. There are many forms of ice/cold therapy from ice in a plastic bag to my favorite—a frozen bag of corn or peas. Just remember that ice can “burn” as well, so be sure to put a layer of cloth between the ice and the injured area. The ice should be applied on and off for 20 minutes or LESS each time.
Compression is best used with ice to help minimize swelling of the injured area. After placing a layer of cloth and an ice pack on the injured area, wrap the area with an ACE bandage or, in a pinch, Lycra clothing. This helps hold the ice in place and reduces swelling.
Elevation means elevating the injury above the heart to help decrease swelling.
If you’ve implemented PRICE, and the injury persists for more than two days, you should see your physician. And don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention for more serious injuries.
Have a safe and happy summer!