You’re out hiking with the family when suddenly you see your son fall: he twisted his ankle on a root and he is in you remember your basic first aid? With injuries such as sprains and strains of ankles, knees, wrists and elbows (those are the most commonly affected joints), it is important to follow the “R.I.C.E.” principle.  R: Rest. Stop all activity immediately and make the patient comfortable (sitting or semi-sitting). This is a good opportunity to examine the injured area, talk to the patient and determine if there are any other injuries. Look for bruising or swelling.

I: Ice. Ice the injured area. Do not apply ice directly to skin, use a towel or cloth to wrap it in. Icing will help reduce swelling and ease the pain. Ice for a maximum 10 minutes, then no ice for 10-15 minutes, then ice again for 10 mins, etc.

C: Compression. You can use a flexible bandage to add pressure to the injury. Compression can help reduce swelling and stabilize the joint. Make sure bandages are not so tight that they cut of circulation.

E: Elevation. Elevate the injured limb (above heart level) to reduce swelling.

If pain and swelling do not subside, or if you are unsure about the seriousness of the injury, seek medical attention.

It is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you for sporting events or outdoor recreation. Include cold packs/instant ice in your kit.

About the Author

Fitness Tips as published weekly in the PG Xpress Fit for lifecolumn

M. Gregor, B.A.

Chief Instructor and Fitness Trainer

Shadow Martial Arts: HapKiDo,

Self Defense and Cross Training

Martial Arts instruction for all ages.

185 Dominion Street. Call: 564-4025