General Injury Care Guidelines

If your student athlete comes home hurt (soreness/pain/discomfort) or with an injury the recommended care should be to administer ice for no longer than 20 minutes.  After one (1) hour repeat the icing process.  Icing 4 – 6 times daily will assist in providing the best care possible.  When icing small or less muscular body parts such as hands/fingers and feet/toes apply ice for 8 – 12 minutes.  After one (1) hour repeat the icing process.  DO NOT heat an injured area until 72 hours post injury or if heat/redness and inflammation are still present.

Heat or Ice

Many people are unsure when to use ice and when to use heat when dealing with an injury.  Below are some helpful guidelines.

Cold produces benefits that include helping to control inflammation and swelling, relieve pain, and reduce muscle spasms.  Crushed ice in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen vegetables are a good source of could.  In the winter snow mixed with water makes an ideal ice pack as well.  Another form of icing that can be very effective is ice cup massages.  Fill a paper cup ¾ of the way full and place in freezer until frozen.  When ready to use, tear off about an inch of the top of the cup so that some of the ice is showing.  Place the exposed ice directly on the skim and ice massage for no longer than 10 minutes at any one time.  DO NOT hold the ice in one spot.


When to use Cold:

     In acute inflammation (heat, redness, swelling)

     For relief of pain and muscle spasms

     After an exercise session

     If the addition of heat to a joint or muscle increases pain and swelling

Heat produces many benefits including an increase in blood flow, a sedative effect on pain nerve endings, and a relaxation of muscles and muscle spasms.  Heating pads, hot showers, warm tub baths, and moist heat packs are good sources of heat.  Make sure to limit each heat application to 10 – 20 minutes.

When to use Heat:

     For joints and muscles that are stiff

     For relief of pain and muscle spasms

     Prior to an exercise session

If you notice your student athlete displaying any abnormal signs and symptoms or complains of any symptoms associated with receiving a blow to the head area or hard fall, she/he may have sustained a concussion.  Contact your doctor or the Athletic Trainer immediately.  If signs and symptoms increase and worsen – refer to hospital ER.  The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not appear immediately.  Signs and symptoms of a concussion can last for days, weeks or longer.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Confusion                                              Headache                                     Tinnitus/Ringing in the Ears

Amnesia/Memory Loss                        Loss of Consciousness                 Poor Concentration

Drowsiness                                           Nausea                                         Vomiting           

Fatigue                                                  Unequal Pupil Size                      Irritability         

Depression                                            Eyes Sensitive to Light                Troubles Sleeping         

Unusual Eye Movements                     Trouble with Memory                  Loss of sense of Taste/Smell  

Difficulty w/ Gross/Fine Motor Skills