Soft tissue injuries

Muscle injuries such as around the thigh (quadriceps) or hamstring are common and may present as swelling and pain on movement after a tackle or other incident. Swelling causes more pain and is a vicious circle. Hence, first aid treatment is based on protecting the injured area, limiting movement and helping to reduce swelling.

For treating most soft tissue injuries, we follow the PRICE mnemonic.

Hamstring injuries are common in Rugby

ProtectProtect the injured limb from further injury. Removal from the field, a compression bandage or perhaps a simple splint if appropriate will protect the injured area and support it in terms of pain relief.
RestUsing a sling or support bandage will help the athlete use the injured limb as little as possible, giving pain relief and preventing worsening swelling
IceIce provides direct pain relief and helps minimise swelling. Ideally a bag of half ice/half water. On for 20 minutes and then reapplied after 2 hours.
CompressionCompressing the injured muscle with a bandage can support the injured area, preventing unnecessary movement and relieving pain. It also opposes swelling.
ElevationIf possible, raising the limb with a sling or on a stool aids blood flow away from the injury and helps minimise swelling.

First aid treatment of limb injuries depends on the degree of symptoms present. It can be very difficult to tell a muscle injury from a serious ligament injury and so often the initial treatment is the same - that of DR ABC consideration and PRICE, until more skilled assistance comes to help.