Sports injuries require immediate attention.

The PECH rule is intended to assist you in administering proper first aid when you are hurt. You can learn what the letters stand for in this section.

What does the PECH rule entail?

The PECH rule relates to first treatment methods for injuries sustained during athletics, for example. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are represented by the letters. When the PECH rule is followed, it can not only reduce acute pain but also prevent major side effects.

Muscles and other body parts are constantly in use.

Many activities carry a high risk of injury: when playing soccer or tennis, for example, joints, muscles, ligaments, tissues, and tendons are constantly strained. Pain, swelling, and bruising are frequently caused by an unfavorable twisting of the foot. Of course, there doesn't have to be a serious reason for the injury in every case, but it's still a good idea for those who are affected to form their own opinions and trust their gut feelings: if you can't tread or can only run with persistent pain, it's usually best to stop training and use the PECH rule if possible.

What is the PECH rule and how does it work?

The PECH rule is based on the following measures:

1. take a break

Stop your sports practice and keep the injured portion of your body still after an injury, especially if the discomfort lingers. If you urge yourself to keep going, it usually gets worse - in the worst-case scenario, you won't be able to do any sports for several weeks. However, if you take it easy and get your injury looked at properly, you might be able to exercise again in a few days. So, following an injury, sit or lie down.

2. ice

According to the PECH rule, nothing helps against impending swelling like ice. The cold constricts the blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the tissue and prevents it from swelling. It is best to use a cold pack, wrap it in a dry cotton cloth and place it on the affected area of the body. The cold pack should never have direct skin contact! Cool the injury continuously for about ten minutes and then take a ten minute break before cooling again. Caution: if the muscles are tense, cooling tends to do the opposite of what you want to achieve. In this case, to relax the muscles, light stretching and heat is more the way to go.

3. compressive force

Light compression bandages are beneficial in a variety of situations, such as keeping a cold pack in place on the ankle. A compression bandage also aids in the reduction of bleeding and swelling, as well as the support of hurting joints. However, if the bandage is applied too firmly, the affected area of the body may experience slight numbness or tissue damage.

4. elevate

The last step of the PECH rule is also about making sure that the blood supply to the injured body part is reduced. To do this, the injured area should be elevated. For example, you place your foot on a chair, or if your hand is injured, you can simply rest your elbow on the back of the chair and hold your hand up. Apart from the reduced blood supply, the elevated position also ensures that tissue fluid can be removed more easily, which reduces possible swelling.

The PECH rule's secret A is

The PECH rule should technically be called the PECHA rule since the letter A should be added to the end. The A signifies a doctor's appointment. Even if you've only twisted your ankle for a few seconds, you should always seek medical help, especially if the pain persists. This is because internal injuries, such as those to the bone, are not always visible from the exterior. If you have a major injury, you should first get it treated with the appropriate therapy before getting back to movement and training.

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