Give Me a Break: Diary of a Broken Wrist Part II

The Aftermath: Defusing the Trauma
I was down, could hardly catch my breath, my wrist was lifeless and I was in trouble. As a Feldenkrais practitioner (functional movement specialist) I knew that what I did in the first few hours after an accident would determine the speed of my recovery; so when I finally was able to get myself back home I did a number of things to defuse the trauma, reduce the swelling and keep the pain at a minimum. Here is a list of the things that helped me:

  • Healing Touch: My husband, Lawrence is a Healing Touch practitioner (HT is similar to Reiki) so he did a few minutes of energy work on my arm as soon as I got my coat off. I already had a large swelling on the thumb-side of my wrist and as Lawrence worked on the energy field around my arm it was visibly evident that the swelling was decreasing.
  • Traumeel: This homeopathic cream is an effective medication for acute injuries and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system; I immediately felt its soothing effects when I applied it to my wrist. Over the next few days I reapplied it when I felt aching in my fingers or elbow (by this time I was casted so I couldn’t apply it directly to my wrist).
  • Arnica Montana: I took this in the form of a homeopathic remedy because it has an unparalleled ability to reduce bruising, bleeding, swelling, shock, pain and recovery time following injuries, strains, sprains and fractures.
  • Ibuprofen: I like to cover all the bases so I also took this for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Frozen peas: There is always a bag of frozen peas in my freezer for first aid emergencies because it works so well as a cold pack to reduce swelling. The bag of peas molds to the shape of a limb so it works better than ice cubes. I think I kept the bag on for about 10 minutes at a time and although I didn’t notice any change in the swelling after each application my wrist did feel better.
  • Stabilize the injured area: At first any movement whether it had to do with the injured area or not, was very reactive. There’s no doubt that my nervous system wasn’t going to let me move the affected area without sending out major distress signals. However, there were times when I had to move and in order to do that the injured area needed to be supported I experimented with different ways of holding my arm and hand moving slowly enough to detect any discomfort; if it felt reasonable I would continue with the movement. Slowly my nervous system decreased its reactivity and settled down so that I could relax.

All of these things I suggested were done within minutes of coming into the house. They made my trip to the clinic easier and relatively discomfort free; by the time my arm was casted I actually felt pretty good.

The orthopedic surgeon gave me a prescription for Tylenol 3s which I never used and I was completely off the Ibuprofen within 3 days. Whether it was the combination of everything I did or simply the placebo effect, I have been almost completely pain-free since the day after the accident and was able to go back to work 5 days later. Of course I have to be creative since I can’t do much with my right hand but regardless I feel it’s been a good ending to a potentially bad story.

Please note that I’m telling my story and what helped me. I  cannot anticipate the needs and/or limitations of individuals. The material contained in this is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you have any concerns. Responsibility for this information is strictly that of the user.

Continue to Part III

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