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Injury Phase 1 

Immediate to 72 hours

  • Rest -Pain is a sign from the nerve sensors at the site of an injury which says, “Houston we have a problem”. Continuing to run with a heavy limp is not an option; it’s a bad choice. Rest the injury as soon as possible. The first six hours are the most important.

  • Ice -Apply an ice pack or cold water as soon as possible for 5-10 minutes and repeat this every hour. Caution: ice can burn the skin so do not apply it directly; wrap it in a damp cloth first. Do not apply the ice for longer than 10 minutes. The reason we use ice is to reduce the bleeding from torn blood vessels. If the ice is left on too long, the body will send blood to the area to warm it up. We do not want this to happen.

  • Compression - To control swelling, bandage the injured area firmly, but not too tightly, working from the furthest part of the body upwards.

  • Elevation– Allow blood to flow towards the heart by raising the injured area. This not only reduces the pressure of the fluid on the injured area but helps the flow of waste to the lymph system.


Injury Phase 2

48 hours to 7/10 days

Contrast bathing --- To promote healing and to aid the absorption of the remaining swelling by causing alternating periods of blood-vessel dilation and constriction. Hot water should be 102-104 degrees F.

  • Day 3-4: cold 4mins, hot 1min, cold 4mins, hot 1min, finish on cold 4mins

  • Day 5-6:cold 2mins, hot 2mins, cold 2mins, hot 2mins, finish on cold 2mins

  • Day 7-8: cold 1min, hot 4mins, cold 1min, hot 4mins, cold 1min, finish on hot 4mins

  • Active movements – non-weight bearing, pain-free

  • Stretching – only within minimal discomfort limits

Injury Phase 3

Active rehabilitation phase

  • Mobilising exercises - stretching the scar tissue and the joint to minimal discomfort levels to increase range of movement.

  • Strengthening exercises - working from non-weight bearing, partial-weight bearing to full-weight bearing.

  • Balance - any injury to the leg will have affected the alignment of the body and balancing exercises will help the body redress itself.

  • Coordination

  • Endurance - back to running. Do not increase by more than 10% a day. Your first run (if you have followed the above) should be pain-free. If any run causes pain, then you should go back a step on your rehab plan.

The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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