The right intervention at the right moment will ensure that your injury heals faster.

Acute injuries
Acute injury is defined as sudden externally originating impact on the body or acute twisting or tearing of tissue structure occurring within the last 24 hours.

It can come from, for example, a kick to the thigh (bruised thigh) or a rear impact from another vehicle (whiplash).

You can also experience acute lumbar pain in the back or neck.

A condition occurs in the tissue known as inflammation, whose symptoms can be:

  • Pain
  • Heat
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Reduced functionality/mobility

You should immediately begin physical first aid, if you note the above symptoms.

Strain injuries
Strain injuries are defined as localised pain the joints, tendons and muscles after prolonged monotonous or repetitive strain over time.

Always contact a doctor or authorised therapist if your pain persists with the same intensity for more than 36 hours.

This may be work-related, for example, sedentary work with a computer, but leisure activities can also be a cause.

The pain often continues for a long time, even though the strain has ceased, and is a significant cause of long-term absence due to illness.

An example of this is sustained office work, where you sit in a bent over position for prolonged periods, resulting in strain to ligaments and spinal discs in the back and giving rise to irritation in these structures.

Read more
Read more about how to prevent injuries.

The first hours

5 things you can do with injuries

  1. Begin treating the injury immediately after it occurs.
  2. Make sure you cool the injured area down, as cold reduces swelling. Lay an icepack or bag of frozen peas on the injured area as quickly as possible after the injury occurs. Remember, you must never place ice directly on the skin. Wrap the icepack in a tea towel or scarf, for example. Hold the icepack in position for about 20 to 30 minutes and repeat after a 30 minute break.
  3. Place pressure on the injured area to stabilise and minimise swelling. Use elastic bandage or a scarf, for example.
  1. Raise the injured area above heart level – as much as this is possible. This will reduce blood flow to the area and limit swelling in the injured area.
  2. After 24 to 36 hours it is time to move the injured body part again. Stay within the pain limit to promote skeletal-muscle (venous) pump action and thereby increase blood flow to the injured area, which is important for healing the damaged structure.

Always contact a doctor or authorised therapist if your pain persists with the same intensity for more than 36 hours.