Festive boozing and icy pavements lead to a surge in Christmas falls.
But if you’ve taken a holiday tumble you probably won’t need to go to hospital.
Now Huddersfield health chiefs are offering tips on treating that bruise or sprain without going to hospital.
Winter times are particularly demanding on Huddersfield’s already overstretched A&E.
So two words to remember concerning sprains and strains are: PRICE and HARM .
PRICE stands for four things you should do:
Protection – protect the injured area from further injury by using a support or wear shoes that enclose and support your feet, such as lace-ups;
Rest – avoid activity for the first 48 to 72 hours after injuring yourself;
Ice – for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury, apply ice wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the day;
Compression – compress or bandage the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further.
Elevation – keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling.
HARM stands for four things you should avoid:
Heat – such as hot baths, saunas or heat packs;
Alcohol – drinking alcohol will increase bleeding and swelling, and slow healing;
Running – or any other form of exercise that could cause more damage;
Massage – which may increase bleeding and swelling.
Medical help should be sought if the pain is severe, you cannot move the injured joint or muscle, you cannot put weight on the injured limb, or it gives way when you try to use it.
You should dial NHS 111 for advice if the injured area looks crooked or has unusual lumps or bumps other than swelling, you have numbness, discolouration or coldness in any part of the injured area or the symptoms have not started to improve within a few days of self-treatment.
Obviously, in a genuine emergency you should call 999.
Holmfirth GP and Huddersfield lead for urgent care, Dr David Hughes , said: “If you are unlucky enough to sustain an injury, please think before you go to A&E.
“Depending on the time of day, there may be other more local services such as a pharmacy, district nurse or your GP practice who can offer help or advice.
“If you are unsure what to do, ring NHS 111 rather than going directly to A&E. This will ensure you get access to the most appropriate treatment for you and will mean hospital based A&E services can be reserved for those with life threatening and emergency conditions, which might be you.”