Dr. Cristin Mathew is no longer with NASA Bone & Joint Specialists. To schedule at his new practice, please call 281.335.1111

Use This Info When Speaking to Your Orthopedic Doctor About an Injury


Many Houston, Texas, patients experience an injury at some point during their lives. They can be the result of a friendly sports game, strenuous exercise, or even activities in your daily routine. Injuries fall into two categories: acute injuries and chronic injuries. Knowing the difference between the two can be helpful when bringing information about your injury to an orthopedic doctor. As the leading experts in orthopedics and sports medicine services, NASA Bone & Joint Specialists knows that patients want to be informed about their injuries, so we’ve listed some information about acute injuries and how they can be treated:


What is an Acute Injury?

Orthopedic injuries can be either acute or chronic. Knowing the difference is key in helping your orthopedic doctor develop a treatment plan to alleviate symptoms. Unlike chronic injuries, which develop over time, acute injuries are the result of sudden impact. An example of this type of injury would be a sprained ankle or a broken bone. While they may be sudden, it does not negate the fact that those suffering from an acute injury often need to find a treatment specific to their injury, such as knee injury treatment or rotator cuff injury treatment.


How can I Treat an Acute Injury?

Any injury should be taken seriously, no matter how minor it may seem. Though the name may make it sound less severe than a chronic injury, an acute injury should be looked at by an orthopedic doctor to ensure that no further damage occurs. However, the RICE method is a relatively simple at-home method that can help treat an injury:


R: Rest

Rest is essential after suffering an injury. It helps your body heal by reducing the amount of work your injured body part needs to do. This can help reduce both the inflammation and swelling that results from continuing to use the affected joint or muscle after an acute injury. Aim to completely immobilize the injured area for 48 hours. This step can be difficult when using this method for knee injury treatment, as the knee is vital for everyday tasks like walking or general movement. In these cases, you may need to use assistive mobility devices to avoid using the injured body part.

I: Ice

While ice is not a “cure-all” treatment for an injury, it can help reduce inflammation and pain, especially if utilized within the first couple of days after the acute injury has been sustained. Ice can be placed in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel, and placed on the affected area for 20 minutes at a time each hour.

C: Compression

Compression aides in reducing the swelling that accompanies an injury. The most common compression method is wrapping the injured body part in an elastic bandage. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the goal of compression is not to completely block blood flow. If you feel throbbing when wrapping the affected area, the bandage is too tight and needs to be re-applied.

E: Elevation

Elevation refers to lifting the injured body part above heart level. This helps reduce swelling by promoting blood flow away from the injured area and back to the heart. While this is only practical if the injured body part is a limb, aim to elevate the area 6-10 inches above your heart as frequently as possible during the first few days after your injury.


Any injury, whether acute or chronic, should be taken seriously and examined by an orthopedic doctor. However, the RICE method can help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany an injury. For professional orthopedic and sports medicine treatment in Houston, Texas offering same day appointments for acute injuries, call us at (281) 333-5114 or visit us at https://www.nasabone.com/contacts/.

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