How To Treat Sprains In The Outdoors
Whenever practicing a sport or any physical activity, we all are exposed to suffer some kind of injury. It is just a matter of making a wrong movement or applying the incorrect amount of strength at the wrong moment. Some say it is matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Winter conditions add to the dangers. You can easily end up with a broken hip just by slipping on the ice on a sidewalk. Of course there are other activities that can be more risky, but also more fun. Nonetheless, it is important to learn at least how to react if finding yourself in a harmful situation. A bit of bad luck or a moment’s lapse of attention can lead to sprains, simple breaks or even compound fractures.
Recognizing Your Injury
Winter sports and activities are exciting and fun. Snowmobile and ATV riding, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and hiking are some of the most popular outdoor activities Colorado citizens perform during this time of the year. And all can lead to a painful situation. Nonetheless, knowing what to do and how to react are essential to avoid escalating into bigger problems.
After an accident, make a quick head to toes exam. Broken bones, sprains and dislocations are painful injuries that should receive medical attention as soon as possible. If the injured person is complaining of pain in a limb or joint, but no fracture is present, you should continue to look for other causes. It is very important to treat all suspected skeletal injuries, including fractures, strains, sprains and dislocations as if they were fractures until proved otherwise. Once you are completely sure that there are no broken bones you can move on to other first aid techniques, as apparently you were lucky this time.
Treating sprain outdoors
Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries when hiking. A sprain is caused by trauma to one or more ligaments in a joint. Common sprains include ankle, knee, wrist, finger and toe sprains. Sit down and check your ankle for swelling, bruising or discoloration. Do you feel pain when you put weight on it? Check also if there is mobility loss at the affected joint.
Try to immobilize or support the affected area, similar to treating a fracture. If the sprain is quite swollen, wrap it in a compression bandage. Make the bandage snug, but avoid making your toes turn purple or go numb. You should be able to put two fingers under the bandage when it is firmly wrapped. If it is not severely swollen, bruised or too painful, you can try to put your boot back on and lace it up tightly.
Keep pressure off the ankle using a hiking staff or leaning on a friend. If the swelling is bad, use some snow or and ice and wrap a damp towel for 20 minutes each hour until the swelling goes down. If it is extremely painful, have someone get help immediately. This is one of the many reasons why you never go hiking alone.
Professional Guided Tours
The best way to prevent finding yourself all alone in the frozen woods with a severe ankle sprain, is to take your hiking or ATV tour with a professional guide. This way you can relax and enjoy your adventure knowing that you will be safe surrounded by professionals. You’ll have lots of fun and be much safer than off on your own. So book your Clear Creek County adventures with us!