Losing the vertical hold

Boy, don't ya feel silly when you find yourself horizontal, in the air? Not too hard to do after all the rain this weekend followed by the light snow on Monday. Talk about slick! Seems everyone's comments are the same: "I wonder if anyone saw me do that?" Oh, the pain of a bruised ego. Vanity is not necessarily all mine; the guys seem just as upset as the women! Aside from bruised egos, and pray there are no serious injuries, the leftover pain, stiffness and soreness can keep us from functioning at optimal levels for days following a fall.

First things first. Following a fall: if you can't get up, if the pain is too severe, don't try. Believe me, you will know if something is broken. One of the two worst kinds of pain is bone pain. Or, if the snow is turning red and you're dizzy, you're only apt to fall again as you try to make your way to your feet. Broken bones, serious sprains and strains where you cannot bear your weight, cuts or blows to the head should earn you a ticket to the emergency room. And don't wait!

First aid for sprains, strains or fracture is R-I-C-E. R is for rest or immobilization. I is for ice; this will help keep the swelling down. C is for compression. An elastic bandage that will help further reduce pain and swelling. E is for elevation which further reduces swelling, reduces pain and allows rest for healing. Let your pain be your guide. Whether you are using crutches, a cane whatever, if it hurts a lot you are probably trying to be on it too much.

If someone you are with falls and is knocked unconscious, or you happen upon someone who appears to be unconscious from a fall, call for help immediately. If they stir or awaken, try to make them comfortable and warm. Do not try to help them up immediately. They may have broken something in the fall or may just need a few minutes to orient themselves. This also is a must trip to the emergency room.

Okay, now that we're through the big stuff, let's say you just fell. It hurts like H, but you don't appear to be injured seriously. What can you do to help slow bruising, swelling and the associated pain. Well, first remember RICE, but here are some other tips that will be extremely useful.

Use some digestive enzymes or drink some fresh pineapple juice. These contain the enzyme bromelin which act as natural anti-inflammatories that reduce further damage to the tissues. Another natural anti-inflammatory is vitamin C with bioflavanoids. Vitamin C, but especially the bioflavanoids, strengthens the capillaries which prevent them from breaking and bleeding into surrounding tissues­­ bruising.

Try a magnesium supplement before going to bed, or drink some celery juice high in magnesium. Magnesium helps keep calcium in the blood stream and available to damaged muscle tissue, ligaments and tendons for repair and regeneration.

Apply a medical magnet to the areas of worst pain and soreness. Magnets haven been scientifically proven to increase circulation and relieve pain.

Upon arising the next day, try a hot shower or tub and do some gentle stretching. Your entire body has been jolted by the fall and you will have other areas of soreness that need attention.

Get a massage. Massage will help relieve the body of its load of lactic acid that causes so much of the stiffness and soreness you are experiencing. Massage helps realign all the ropes and pulleys and gets that vertical hold back on track! Stay safe and stay vertical!

Till next time, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online January 23, 1999
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