t: 01563 537306

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Registered Medical Practitioner,
GMC number 3002854,
Registered Osteopath GOsC number 4/4571.
Also registered with the Data Commissioner for safe storage of patient details.

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Within about 3 days (that is, an acute injury) of a sprain or strain happening its often helpful to apply cold to the injured area, being careful not to damage the overlying skin. Wrap up the ice pack or frozen peas with a towel after allowing them to thaw a little, before putting them on the skin surface. Feel the cold deep inside for about 10 minutes. Can repeat this 3 times a day if practicable.

For aches and pains of longer duration, termed chronic,often due to over use in sport or at home or at work, then heat is often more useful. Use a warm water bottle, not a hot one, and take care of the skin as before. Warm baths can be good for aching, stiff joints and muscles.

Rest is useful in the first few days. Avoiding anything that aggravates the pain at this time is usually good. However, it’s good to keep everything moving as much possible. Movement without weight-bearing can be enough at this time, for example for an ankle sprain foot circles with the leg resting on a stool are helpful.

Elevation of the injured part in the early phase helps to drain fluid that has accumulated in the damaged soft tissues. For a sprained wrist this can be done with a sling. For an ankle sitting with the foot on a stool is useful.

Pain relief in the form of medication can make life more comfortable. Several types of medication can be bought “over the counter” but you must be careful to follow the instructions on the pack. If these are not enough then the situation should be discussed with a qualified health care professional. Pain severe enough to disturb sleep is a particular indication for this.

Recovery from Injury .... usually best done in stages with short term and long term goals. Aiming to be generally physically fitter is an excellent long term goal for most of us. Starting with practicing switching muscle on, then practicing whole movement sequences, then improving coordination, strength and flexibility allow specific skills to be practiced. Confidence in pain free unrestricted movement is achieved and a return to sport and/or work is made. Full or maximal recovery is more likely if some thought is given to the possible causes of the problem in the first place.

Useful links

I am the doctor for the Ayr Sports Medicine Centre and am usually available on Monday evenings at Ayr. Further details from the website.

I am Deputy Course Director at the London College of Osteopathic Medicine and there is useful information here about Osteopathy in general and the courses that are run together with clinics available to patients at low cost in London.