In my opinion the following are good strategies for self care of common Musculoskeletal injuries.
For acute musculoskeletal injuries I recommend using the PRICE principle:
P is for Pad/Protect the injured area avoid weight bearing if too sore,
R is for Rest the injured body part as needed or completely if severe until medical opinion is given,
I is for Ice for 15 to 20 on then remove for 40 minutes, repeating the process each hour for several hours depending on the nature and severity of the injury.
C is for Compression using a light wrap of semi-elastic material like an ace wrap, or saran wrap is a good substitute…never constrict blood flow by making it too tight unless there is a high rate of active bleeding. If severe active bleeding, compress to slow it down and get to the nearest ER!
E is for Elevate body part to decrease swelling as well as providing rest.
Ice for the first 24 to 48 hours intermittently to reduce inflammation but not totally preventing it.
I recommend a Tylenol product for pain control and avoid NSAID in most cases just for pain control because I think we need a healthy amount of inflammation early to heal deep ligamentous injuries. Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatories due what they say the do, reduce inflammation,, yet my concern is that we want this process to be active in wound healing to get soft tissues back functioning as strong as possible after injury. It is unclear if use of these medications indiscriminately can lead to incomplete healing and continued laxity of joints. Often this needs to be individualized to the specific patient and injury. (I do not have an opinion on use of other “natural” anti-inflammatories like trameel. I need to do more research on their use.)
Heat can be used after 48 hours and in short doses less than 10 minutes. This is to limit any secondary swelling from increased blood flow engorging the injured area. Use heat 10 minutes or less to warm up the area before exercise. Use ice 15 to 20 minutes after exercise.