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First and foremost cooling

Medical professionals term an injury without an open wound a blunt trauma. Depending on the cause, they differentiate between a contusion, bruise, pulled muscle and a sprain. As a rule, everyday injuries without joint involvement are harmless. In the case of joint injuries, healing can take longer, especially if ligaments are affected.
Isabel Weinert
11.04.2019  00:00 Uhr

If a joint is dislocated, doctors will term this a luxation. Laymen should never try to set the joint themselves but immediately see a doctor. Cooling as well as rest will help until the doctor has expertly put the joint into place again. Contusions rank among the most common sport injuries, but they are not uncommon in house and garden either. In the case of contusions and also bruises, the connective tissue structures and the blood vessels are destroyed. Blood leaks into the ambient tissues thereby causing a haematoma, and the affected area swells. The beginning inflammatory process makes the vessels more permeable and increases the swelling. In turn, inflammation and swelling increase the pains. This often impairs movement. Not only bones, joints and muscles but also organs can be bruised, for example the liver or the eyeball. If an organ is affected the person concerned should immediately see a doctor or go to a hospital.

Pulled muscles are typical sports injuries. They occur when movements are fast and jerky – especially if no or only insufficient warm-up training has been done. A sudden piercing pain is characteristic, which impairs the movement of the affected part of the body. After immobilisation, however, the pain mostly disappears.

A sprain or distortion occurs if the joint’s normal movement range is suddenly exceeded, for example when twisting the ankle. By overstretching the joint capsule, the joint can temporarily swell. In severe cases, the sprain can lead to a torn ligament – characterised by massive swelling of the joint and pain. A torn ligament urgently needs medical attention. Top priority in the treatment of blunt traumas is the topical application of cooling. Cold reduces the swelling as well as the inflammation and the pain. However, cooling elements must not be placed directly on the skin as the cold could damage the tissues. The second helpful recommendation to relieve pain and swelling is the treatment with a gel or a cream that has an antiphlogistic effect. These should be generously applied, i.e. as thick as the back of a knife, several times a day. Suitable for topical use are NSAIDs such as flufenamic acid, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, and Diclofenac. Whoever prefers an easier application, can use a Diclofenac pain patch, provided that the affected area is suited for the use of a patch.

The patch needs to be changed only in the mornings and evenings. While a topical treatment may suffice for smaller injuries, it may be necessary in the case of extensive contusions to additionally administer an antiphlogistic to sufficiently control the pain. The topical treatment of blunt trauma with standardised comfrey preparations has also proved to be effective. Their decongestant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effectiveness has been proven. A classic for the treatment of blunt trauma is arnica extract. Due to the terpenoids and thymol contained therein, preparations of the medicinal plant inhibit oedemas and inflammations. Popular are also compresses with diluted arnica tincture or gel or ointment preparations. These should contain at least 20 percent of arnica tincture. Because of their antiphlogistic and antioedematous effect, topical preparations containing heparin are also used. In order to be able to take effect, heparins must be sufficiently highly dosed. The position of the affected body part permitting, a good treatment concept is the well-known RICE (P.E.C.H.) method for blunt trauma: R for rest, I for ice (cooling), C for compression (compression bandage), E for elevation.

Deutsch / German Englisch / English
Arnika arnica
Antiphlogistisch antiphlogistic
Aufwärmtraining warm-up training
Band ligament
Bänderriss torn ligament
Beinwell comfrey
Gelenk joint
Heparin heparin
Hochlagern elevate
Knochen bones
Kühlelemente cooling elements
Muskeln muscles
Muskelzerrung pulled muscle
Ödem oedema
Organ organ
Pause rest
Pflaster patch
Prellung bruise
Quetschung contusion
Sportverletzung sport injury
Sprunggelenk ankle (ankle joint)
Umknicken twist (one’s ankle)
Verletzung injury
Verstauchung sprain
Wunde wound
Vocabulary on injuries

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