Momma said…. (have a chuckle) – Jim Mackie, M.Ed., ATC, LAT

We all have heard the adage, ” when Momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Yes, you better do what Momma says but sometimes there are all kinds of ideas for treatment of injuries and when you send the kids home you had best given good instructions and a call to that parent otherwise you may be dealing with other issues.
For example: So what am I going to do with this ankle sprain? Ankle sprains can be a bear! Just a misstep somewhere and an ankle swells like a balloon or not at all. What next? Some things to consider & questions to ask: discoloration, pain, neurological symptoms, deformed? Anything look like it shouldn’t? go to the hospital!

But Momma said, ‘Never take off your shoe or it will swell…. Well how are you going to see what’s wrong, probably good advice if it’s totally out of place. But practically speaking remove the shoe & sock, take a look at it apply some ice (20 minutes) directly to he injury.

“But I’ll get frostbite” pretty un-likely. I usually advise once you get past the first 5 minutes your numb, it’ll burn some but you will get used to it. Unless you’re really fair skinned and hyper sensitive to cold it’s usually safe to place ice next to skin and is most effective. A bucket of ice water is good too. In 40 years I’ve only had one athlete who had an allergic reaction to cold!

Apply a compression wrap starting at the toes or the swelling may pool there. Elevate the leg, foot & ankle as gravity & the bodies physiology are drawing fluids to the are to protect it.

Momma said “I should put it in warm epsom salts soak” well, heat does feel good but it will draw more fluid to the area, causing more swelling. While it might feel good at first it may just prolong healing. The same goes for rubbing on those topical products, you may gain some “analgesic relief” but it’s the massage or lymph drainage that’s best done by a professional.

X-rays, studies have shown many healthcare dollars wasted on needless x-rays which really only show the bone anyway (source may be soft tissue?) Let the MD decide.

When can I return? Mom says “I need to be out 6 weeks & not play sports anymore”? She took me off to the acute care center or family MD who sees few athletic injuries annually. While each serves their purpose and certainly no slight to some MD’s but try to refer the athlete to a sports medicine MD or professional and began some therapy as soon as possible which includes a good rehabiltation program. A guide of progression usually includes rest, frequent treatments, walking with no limp, swelling reduced, pain free, joint stability & balance, taping or bracing. Functional progression includes -straight ahead motion – walk – jog – run – sprint – slow to sharper turns – cutting agilities – strengthening, balance, & endurance – competition’

Remember that scripture tells us ‘the limping foot gains strength on the straight paths

Before I get all sorts of comments, this was written to address a common injury we as healthcare professionals face and is antidotal in nature. In all cases of injury, seek professional care. Yours in Good Health.

Published on January 11, 2013