Have you ever suffered from a mild injury and noticed that the affected area has swollen up by the next day? Swelling can be so inconvenient and uncomfortable that it often feels worse than the initial injury. It is useful to figure out why exactly your body reacts to injuries, so you can properly deal with swelling.
What is swelling?
To understand why you encounter swelling after an injury, it is important to learn what the response actually involves. Medically speaking, swelling is fluid collecting in between the individual cells that make up your tissues. This fluid can be almost entirely water, or it can contain white blood cells, amino acids, hormones, and nutrients.
Why did my injury swell?
Your body starts swelling because it’s trying to keep you safe. It senses that there is potential damage to the area, so it collects a lot of fluid there to pad the area. This can have a number of benefits, including:
- This keeps the healing process from being impaired if you bump it again.
- Swelling prevents you from moving a joint easily, so you do not cause more damage by moving around while injured.
- Swelling also helps with healing, because it sends useful items to the damaged area.
- The fluid involved in swelling can contain white blood cells that help prevent damage and infection.
Can I do something for a swollen injury?
Once you understand the reason that swelling is happening, you can treat it more easily. As you have learned, swelling is the body’s attempt to heal and protect an area from more injury. This means you can treat it through the following methods:
- Rest: Avoid putting any pressure or weight on the area to help it heal faster.
- Ice: Chilling the area constricts blood flow, reducing inflammation.
- Compression: A compression bandage keeps fluid from building up.
- Elevation: You can keep the injured area raised above your heart to help fluid drain.
- Diuretics: These are medications that encourage the body to remove excess fluid from its system.
Recovering from an injury is an important part of managing swelling. At New Heights Physical Therapy, you can get the help and advice that you need to recover from your injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Why Do You Experience Swelling After an Injury? in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
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