Sports Injury Management: The First 72 hours - what to do
Rest the injured area for 48-72 hours. Movement of the injured part will increase blood flow and bleeding to the injury site, may cause the blood clot to dislodge, and begin bleeding again and may cause more tissue damage.
Ice. Apply ice or cold therapy to the injured area for 15-20minutes every two hours. Avoid direct ice contact to the skin to prevent cold burns. Ice decreases swelling and pain.
Compression. Apply firm, elastic, non-adhesive bandage to the area. Maybe done in conjunction as an ice compress. Reduces swelling and bleeding at the injury site.
Elevate the injured area above the heart level. For example for an ankle injury, when lying down, raise the ankle slightly above the body with a pillow. Elevation decreases bleeding, swelling and pain.
Refer to see a doctor or physiotherapist for an accurate definitive diagnosis. You may need continued management (including anti-inflammatory medication) and prescription of a rehabilitation programme.