I have seen numerous patients this past week who have hurt themselves slipping on ice, shoveling snow or being involved in an automobile accident. So let me give you some advice to help you navigate this slippery season.
I like to call this the rule of threes
- 3 HOURS; For a very minor sprain/strain 3 hours directly after the incident should be plenty of time to start the healing process by doing the following: Rest, apply Ice, Compress and Elevate if necessary. R.I.C.E.
- 3 DAYS; For a moderate sprain/strain 3 days should be enough time to decrease the swelling, bruising, pain and discomfort by using the same formula as above. R.I.C.E. Seeking professional help at this point is advised if your signs/symptoms haven't resolved.
- 3 WEEKS; If you are still hurting after 3 weeks you really need to seek for professional help.
Obviously if you have suffered a head or neck injury, lost consciousness, suffer from neurological signs/symptoms, can see the bone sticking out of your skin, or by just listening to that voice in your head that is saying, "something just isn't right" Then definitely seek the advice of a health care professional. And it is always a good idea to get checked out after an automobile accident whether or not you think you have been injured because chances are you have been you just aren't showing the signs or symptoms yet.