Our feet can be injured or damaged in many ways. From sprains to strains, from shattered bones to nerves flaring in agony. All of these physical problems require different treatments, and healing them requires different approaches, even from the same podiatry Perth expert.
However, most of these treatment programs start with a similar baseline. This baseline is summed up as the acronym RICE. It’s something that people should be familiar with, as it’s a good starting point for almost any therapeutic approach to a physical injury.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Physical therapists, Perth podiatrists, and first aid specialists will all recommend this as the first move.
The acronym is a handy reference for first aid for any injuries involving the foot or ankle. This is especially true in the period before you can see a professional such as a Perth podiatrists for treatment or diagnosis.
Rest is the first step because putting the injury at rest reduces the odds of moving around.
If you’re moving an injured foot around, you’re at risk of making the cause worse. While not all ailments can be exacerbated this way, it’s better to play it safe and rest. Besides, someone who is in pain probably won’t want to be moving around much anyway, so rest plays into their first impulse.
The next thing to do is to apply ice to the area.
Ice is very useful for most injuries. The cold reduces the flow of blood, which can have many beneficial effects. Ice is also used to reduce swelling, which is often a byproduct or symptom. It basically fulfils the role of basic pain relief.
However, too much ice can be harmful. People providing first aid should be careful not to go too far with it, especially if they aren’t sure what the cause of the problem is. Consult a professional in podiatry Perth to be sure you get it right.
The next step is compression. Compression is the act of pressing things together.
Compression involves wrapping the injured area in something, usually an elastic bandage. This is meant to decrease swelling. The area shouldn’t be wrapped too tight because that can cause numbness, an increase in pain, and further swelling.
You can also use compression to hold things in place. For example, any support structures can be kept in place through wrapping, so there’s reduced risk of them coming loose.
Finally, there’s elevation. Usually, this will be putting the injured area on pillows or other supports. The idea here is to keep it above the level of the heart. This reduces blood flow and swelling.