Unfortunately, unless you live in a giant bubble, injuries are just a part of life. Sometimes, these injuries are very obvious and need medical attention immediately. Other times, it may be a strained back that gets worse as the weeks and months go by. Many injuries will heal on their own, while others require surgery or intensive rehab services.
While every injury is unique and will have its own recovery, there are some basic precautions and steps that everyone should take to make sure that the injury gets taken care of the correct and safe way.
1. Take Notes
In a worst case scenario, an injury leads to long term medical visits and expenses. Oftentimes, these injuries don’t come from a drastic injury, but rather something as simple as a strained back, a rolled ankle, or a fall that seems to be something to brush off.
When this kind of injury happens, take note of it. If it is work related, take a picture. It may not seem like much, but if you later need to apply for worker’s compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit, having that evidence is going to help your case and your attorney to help settle for the most money possible.
Also, write down with a date what happened. If the pain continues to get worse, take note of that. If nothing else, it will help you when describing your situation to the doctor.
2. Keep Moving (if possible)
Many injuries, especially around joints, leave the injured wanting to sit down, lay down, or just relax. While of course in serious situations this does need to happen, oftentimes, the best thing to do is to continue to move.
If you’ve ever watched a football game, you’ve probably seen injured players hop onto a stationary bike. This is because the muscles and joints are already loose and forcing them to a quick stop can actually stiffen up those muscles and joints and lead to a much tougher recovery.
The best kind of movement is non-bearing or non-balanced movement, or in other words, not putting 100% of the body’s weight where it hurts. Gradually doing this will oftentimes heal the issue, and if not, will at least make the recovery time much faster and easier.
3. Check for Other Injuries
In some countries, a common practice for administering shots is to slap the arm or leg before injecting the needle in. While questionable and odd, the purpose makes sense. The sting of the slap makes it so that the shot feels relatively painless. Trading pain for pain is weird, but again the concept and execution works well.
What does this have to do with injuries? Sometimes when an injury occurs, all of the person’s focus is on what hurts the most. For example, if hit by a car, the first injury that may get noticed is a broken arm or dislocated ribs, and for good reason. What may not get looked at is the pulled muscle in the shoulder that down the road won’t allow for heavy lifting.
Having a full exam and focusing on everything that is not the way that it was before the injury is crucial. Again, if needing to file for a personal injury case or trying to get a claim from the insurance, having note and documentation of these scenarios will help out immensely.
If all of these steps are taken, it is much more likely that following the short term effects of an injury, there will be a quick, full recovery.