March 28, 2015 in First Aid

Ah Spring… Finally!

Having been born in September, I am not much of a winter person… I simply enjoy the heat, sweat and the sun. Ok… being a first aid instructor, I should not promote staying in the sun, but come on! Who doesn’t like to go out on hikes, or on long nature walks, along the Dingli cliffs, or up Salibtal- Għolja in Siggiewi?

This may result in those stubborn strains and sprains, which result in spending the following five days at home nursing those painful joints! So I hope that the following points will assist anyone who sprained their ligaments or strained their tendons to regain their dexterity in no time!

Strains and sprains occur when we twist our limbs too much, or unexpectedly fall, causing us to pull or sometimes even tear ligaments or tendons. This will result in inflammation, soreness, some bruising and also the inability to walk properly. Whenever we strain or sprain our ankles we have to follow the R.I.C.E. method:

R – Rest; A strain or sprain requires quite a lot of rest in order to allow for the injured parts to regain normal function

I- Ice; this helps in both the pain and the inflammation. However a word of caution – Avoid placing ice in direct contact with the skin

C- Comfortable support; this is important to avoid any unnecessary movement, whilst also keeping the ankle secured

E- Elevate; elevation is required to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a result of an increase in blood flow to the injured part, for recovery to take place. This will lead to a build up of fluids. By elevating our injured part, gravity will assist in the removal of this excess fluid build-up.

Following the above should help us get back in those trekking boots rather quickly!

Having said that, First Aid should never replace a Medical Practitioner! Always seek medical advice on injuries, since some major complications might not appear immediately, but require further investigation.

Stay safe… and enjoy your countryside walks!

David Spiteri
EFRU Rescue and FA Instructor