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How to treat middle back pain

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat middle back pain)

Middle back pain is pain and discomfort that can be felt in the middle back area, and also includes the area of the rib cage that is attached to the chest area of the spine also called thoracic spine. The pain can be acute or chronic which will depend on the cause and severity of underlying condition.

Symptoms

  • A burning sensations
  • Dull pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiffness or muscle tightness
  • Sharp or stabbing pain

    middle back pain

    Muscle strain or sprain such as regular lifting of heavy weights especially the muscles not properly conditioned.

  • Chest pain
  • Weakness of the arms or legs
  • Tingling or numbness sensations of the arms, legs or chest
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

Causes of middle back pain

  • Repeated pressure placed on the spine such as poor posture. The ligaments and muscles in the back become stressed to keep the body balance such as slouching.
  • Overweight
  • Muscle strain or sprain such as regular lifting of heavy weights especially the muscles not properly conditioned.
  • Sudden or awkward movement of the body
  • Hard fall down the stairs
  • Vehicular and sports accidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Herniated disk
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Aging

Treatment

  • Keep moving by walking around the house and eventually walking around the neighborhood to prevent making the area stiff and delays the healing.
  • Apply ice compress and heat on the affected area. Wrap ice pack in a towel before placing on the area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the pain the inflammation.
  • Apply heat pack on the area to lessen the stiffness and spasm. Place a damp cloth between the skin and the heat pack to prevent further injury and worsen the condition.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • Perform breathing exercises such as yoga to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the back
  • Prescribed steroid injections to lessen the pain and the inflammation and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some strengthening and stretching exercises and restore range of movement of the back without causing pain. Exercises to improve posture, core strength and endurance and mobility of the spine.
  • Massages the area by placing a couple of tennis balls inside the sock and use this to massage the affected area by apply a gentle pressure to lessen the pain.

Tips

  • Avoid slouching and keep the shoulders back when standing.
  • Take a break by standing for a while especially when sitting for a prolonged periods of time.
  • For desk job, adjust the height of the computer, the keyboard and the positioning of the mouse and the chair to prevent a bad posture.
  • Sleep on your side and place a pillow between the knees and sleep in a fetal position to prevent misaligning the spine and result to pain in the back

Dealing with frostbite in children

February 13th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Dealing with frostbite in children)

Frostbite is an injury due to freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Children are easily affected by frostbite than with adults. The exposed skin becomes severely cold and red, eventually becomes numb, pale and hard. It usually happens on the toes, fingers, ears, nose, chin and cheeks.   It can also happen in skin covered with gloves or other clothing.

Symptoms of frostbite

  • Numbness
  • Skin becomes cold and a prickling feeling
  • The color of the skin becomes white, red, bluish-white or grayish-yellow
  • Clumsiness due to stiffness of the muscles and the joints
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Sometimes, blisters will form after rewarming

Causes

frostbite

Clumsiness due to stiffness of the muscles and the joints.

  • Direct contact with ice, freezing metals or very cold liquids
  • Staying out in the cold and wind for long periods of time
  • Wearing clothing that is not suitable for the condition such as protection against wind, cold, wet weather or tight clothing.

Treatment

  • If the child is outside, bring him/her inside and away from the freezing weather and stay in a warmer area. Another alternative is staying inside a car, old house, in a tent or a cave.
  • Remove wet clothing and a jewelries present in the affected area to prevent difficulties in removing them when the area is swelling. It will reduce flow of blood in the area and worsen the condition.
  • Wrap the child in warming blankets on the body and wrap the affected area with bandages or any kind of thick covers such as jackets or coats to raise the internal temperature of the body. Avoid using hair dryer, heating pad, hot water to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Warm the affected areas using warm water for at least 30 minutes. Avoid using hot water to prevent burns on the skin and delays the healing. Place clean cotton balls between affected toes and fingers after rewarming. Wrap the warmed areas using clean bandages to prevent refreezing.
  • Provide pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the pain.
  • Avoid popping blisters that forms on the affected area to prevent development of infections.

More Information

The details posted on this page on frostbite is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of frostbite in children, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

How to treat thenar eminence pain

January 2nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat thenar eminence pain)

Thenar eminence pain is pain felt at the soft muscular round region at the bottom of the thumb. It is caused by overusing the thumb and becomes inflamed. It causes difficulties with movements such as handling of the latch, opening of drawers and opening of the door.

The thenar eminence is a group of three short muscles found on the palm of the human hand at the bottom of the thumb. They form a fleshy mass on the lateral side of the palm used for the movements of the thumb. The skin on top of this area is stimulated when eliciting a palmomental reflex.

Symptoms

  • Tightness of the thenar eminence
  • Pain can be felt around the soft muscular rounded area at the bottom of the thumb
  • Development of nodule at the bottom of the thumb along the surface of the palm
  • The thumb becomes locked after flexing
  • Neurovascular compression

Causes

thenar eminence pain

Pain can be felt around the soft muscular rounded area at the bottom of the thumb.

  • Due to fine and repetitive kind of work which result to overusing of the thumb. It includes constant typing on mobile phone and computers and also work of a massage therapist.
  • Hammering and sewing
  • Hormonal changes in women especially postmenopausal
  • Vehicular accidents and falls
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where there is pressure on the median nerve found in the wrist

Treatment

  • Splint the thumb to prevent unnecessary movement, lessen the pain and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain due to thenar eminence.
  • Prescribed steroid ejections to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Apply cold compress on the affected area. place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and then place to the affected thumb for at least 10 minutes several times every day to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Massage the affected area with the help of the massage therapist to relax and lessen the tightness of the muscles.
  • Gently stretched and loosen the affected thumb to prevent making the area stiff and worsen the condition.
  • Palpitations is done on the neck and adjustments with the help of the physiotherapist

Tips

  • Avoid activities that need repetitive use of the thumb.
  • Regular breaks to allow the muscles of the thumb relax and perform gentle stretches for the hand to avoid stiffness of the muscles.

Remedies for bug inside the ear

January 1st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Remedies for bug inside the ear)

A bug inside the ear is very scary.  Bugs such as cockroaches,  ladybugs, moths and beetles can get inside the ear while sleeping or during outdoor activities. They crawl inside the ear for warmth and make them safe.

Bugs inside the ear can cause hearing loss, infections and damage to the ear. Bugs inside the ear result to a ruptured eardrum. If the bug is not removed completely there is a high risk of developing an infection.

Symptoms of bugs inside the ear

  • Inflammation, pain and irritation
  • Swelling
  • Redness of the area
  • Drainage from the ear such as pus or blood when the ear has injury
  • Biting or stinging sensations
  • Loss of hearing or dizziness

Treatment

bug inside ear

Drainage from the ear such as pus or blood when the ear has injury.

  • Stay calm, avoid movements to prevent lodging of the bug further inside the ear or cause it to crawl further back and cause injuries to the sensitive inner ear or the eardrum.
  • Avoid using tools such as tweezers or cotton swabs to prevent pushing further the bug inside the ear or accidentally injuring the nerves and worsen the condition.
  • Remove the bug by wiggling the ear. Tilt the affected ear toward the ground and grasp the pinna , located outside of the ear and wiggle the ear. If the bug is not too deep inside the ear, it will just fall out on its own.
  • Flush the ear using warm water with a dropper.
  • Another alternative is killing the bug using mineral oil. Use 1-2 drops of mineral oil or olive oil inside the ear canal to eliminate the bug. After the bugs has come out of the ear, clean the ear canal using warm water. If there are infections such as bleeding or blood while cleaning the area, apply the prescribed over-the-counter antiseptic ointment to lessen the risk of infection and worsen the condition.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter medications such as steroid otic suspension or cortisporin to lessen the infections or abrasion inside the ear.
  • Soak cotton ball in alcohol and use it to get the bug or whatever insect is inside the ear. Be careful this procedure causes pain. The smell of alcohol forces the bug to come out of the ear.

Tips

  • Keep bedroom and other sleeping areas clean to prevent attacks of insects.
  • When camping outdoors, wear repellent for bugs and completely sealing the tent to prevent bugs and other insects from entering the ears.

Dealing with febrile seizure

December 19th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Dealing with febrile seizure)

A febrile seizure is an occurrence of unconsciousness accompanied by strong convulsions frequently with fever due to common childhood illness such as flu, common cold or even ear infections. Children 6 months and 5 years are susceptible to seizures with onset of fever.

Causes

  • A high temperature of the body
  • Viral infection such as roseola and flu which are usually accompanied by high fever
  • Post-immunization seizures such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus or measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations. The affected child develops a low-fever after the vaccination and may cause seizures.

Symptoms

febrile seizure

Children 6 months and 5 years are susceptible to seizures with onset of fever.

  • The seizures can range from mild and eventually becomes severe shaking or tightening of the muscles.
  • Fever higher than 100.4 F or 38.0 C.
  • Losing consciousness
  • Shaking or jerking of arms and legs
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Breathing difficulties

Treatment

  • Keep the child safe by placing him/her on a stable surface to prevent falling caused by uncontrolled movement. Place the child on the floor or on top of the bed. Another way is simply laying him/her on the lap and supported by both hands. If the child is already safe avoid moving him/her. Make sure the area of the child is clear of objects such as furniture to prevent the striking the furniture accidentally.
  • Remove and loosen clothing from the waist up especially around the neck
  • If the child vomits, turn the child onto her/his side to prevent difficulties in breathing. Avoid sticking anything into the mouth of the child to prevent choking or involuntarily biting the object.
  • Give the child the prescribed over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the pain. Avoid giving ibuprofen to children six months or below to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Apply wet and cool cloth on the face and neck of the child to lower the fever and soothe the child.
  • Give the child a bath using lukewarm water, to relax the body and lessen the fever and make the child comfortable and clean. If the child is still having the seizures, just give the child sponge bath. Avoid using cold water or rubbing alcohol in lowering the temperature of the body too quickly to prevent shock.
  • Give the child plenty of sleep in a cool and comfortable room to lessen the fever.
  • Wrap the affected child in blankets if he/she feels chilly.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a febrile seizure is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this condition by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Treating ear bleeding

December 12th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Treating ear bleeding)

Ear bleeding is called otorrhea is a fluid discharge from the ears that includes blood. Oftentimes, the blood also includes pus and wax. Bleeding in the ear can originate from other parts of the body.

Causes of ear bleeding

  • Ruptured eardrum due to foreign objects, infections, loud sounds or sudden changes in the pressure of air. Changes in air pressure can be caused by slapping the ear using the hand.
  • Fracture on the skull and bleeding will leak out of the ear or otorrhea and nose or rhinorrhea if blood vessels are ruptured.
  • Foreign bodies inside the ear can puncture the ear drum or cut a skin such as cotton swab, matchsticks and writing utensils. In ears of children includes beads, small toys or food.
  • Ear bleeding due to hemorrhagic fever which happen during the late stage of the fever. The virus breaks down the blood vessels and result to bleeding from several orifices such as the nostril, anus and the ears.
  • Otic polyp which is a benign growth found on the outer area of the ear canal or eardrum. It causes constant irritation that result to chronic infections.
  • Malignant otitis media or swimmer’s ear which is the infection of the outer ear. It causes bleeding in ears when the condition reaches the bones of the skull.
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation or DIC an abnormal clotting of the blood due to inflammation.

Symptoms

ear-bleeding

Ear pain and headache might also be present.

  • Fever
  • Weakness in the face
  • Buzzing sound in ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear pain and headache
  • Strong odor coming out of the ears
  • Disorientation
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Severe symptoms that includes vision problems, dizziness, unusual size of the pupil, vomiting, bleeding nose, severe exhaustion and severe bleeding from the ear.

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed antibiotics to lessen the infection and the pain.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication to lessen the pain and inflammation due to damage, infections and pressure problems.
  • Apply warm compress in the form of a clean wash cloth soaked in hot or warm water. Wring out excess water and then place it over the sore ear to lessen the discomfort and the pain.
  • Inhale steam to open the Eustachian tube and drain any fluid that causes the blockage. Get inside the bathroom, close all windows and run the shower in hot setting and inhale the steam.
  • White vinegar is rich in antibacterial properties and heals infections of the middle ear. Applying rubbing alcohol inside the ear helps dry up build up of fluid inside the ear.
  • Protect the ears by using ear covers or plugs to prevent debris and water from entering the ears and cause further irritation and worsen the condition.

Tips

  • Avoid picking the ears using objects such as hair clips, matchsticks and cotton swabs.
  • Avoid using earphones while the ear is in the healing process.
  • Avoid flushing the blood out of the ear using water or oil.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on ear bleeding is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage the condition by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Ways of treating a skin flap

October 9th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Ways of treating a skin flap)

A skin flap is a healthy skin that is partly disconnected and moved to cover a wound. It may contain skin and fat or skin, fat and muscle. Sometimes a skin flap is still connected to its original area and one end still connected to a blood vessel. A flat can be moved to a new area and the blood vessel that is still attached to the flap is surgically reconnected which is called a free flap. The area from where the flap is taken is called the donor site. After the surgery, there will be two wounds, the graft or flap and the donor area.

Treatment

  • Clean hands properly before touching the area to prevent the risk of infecting the wound. Wash hand thoroughly using soap and water and wear sterile latex gloves.
  • Stop the bleeding by pressing a sterile pad or dressing over the area. Apply a steady pressure on the wound. Use Telfa dressings or non-adhesive gauze. If bleeding seep through the dressing, place gauze on top of it until the bleeding has stopped.

    skin-flap

    Stop the bleeding by pressing a sterile pad or dressing over the area.

  • In case the wound is on the limb elevate the area to lessen the flow of blood to the affected area. If on the arm, raise the area while placing pressure.
  • Rinse the area around the wound using cool water to remove any debris.
  • Clean the wound using saline solution to make the skin elastic and making it easier to reconnect the border of the wound. Saline solution is made by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Boil the mixture for at least 15 minutes. Let it cool.
  • Remove any debris in the wound using a tweezers. Sterilize the tweezers using rubbing alcohol before using them.
  • Before applying dressing on the wound, apply a thin layer of prescribed antibiotic ointment or cream. The cream or ointment keeps the area moist; lessen the risk of developing infection and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply dressing or covering over the wound to keep the affected area clean and lessen the risk of developing infections. Use Telfa or the soft silicone-coated dressings. Change dressings regularly at least once every day.
  • Once the wound is already healed and there is no risk of developing an infection, remove the dressing, and leave the area uncovered. Expose the area to the air for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • If possible elevate the wound above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling. Another alternative is raising the area in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.

Tips

  • Avoid performing movements that cause stretching or injuring the flap or graft.
  • Avoid scratching or picking the wound as it heals to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • When taking a bath or showering, cover the affected area using a plastic bag to keep it dry.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a skin flap is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this type of skin wound, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Treating an elbow lump

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Treating an elbow lump)

An elbow lump is an abnormal protrusion or bump that happens within the elbow joint or on its surface. It can happen to anyone. An elbow lump can be due to a blow to the elbow or an injury. It can also result from inflammation or swelling, skin growth such as a cyst or tumor and poor healing of a broken bone. Inflammation can result from bursitis, tendinitis, and injuries from sports, strains, sprains, arthritis or joint infections.

An elbow lump causes pain, inflammation, reddening and warmth. It can be a hard or soft mass and can be moved under the skin. If the lump is caused by infection, the skin on the lump is pitted, red and hot and can burst. Sometimes, the lump remains delicate without causing any pain or discomfort when the joint is moved.

Symptoms of an elbow lump

  • Reduced mobility or range of motion
  • Redness, warmth or swelling of the affected area
  • Deformity of the affected elbow

    elbow-lump

    An elbow lump causes pain, inflammation, reddening and warmth.

  • Pain in the shoulder, arm, hand or finger
  • Fever
  • Popping or clicking sound can heard when moving the joint
  • Skin discoloration such as bruising
  • Weakness or loss of strength

If serious symptoms such as severe bleeding, paralysis, sudden elbow pain and sudden onset of joint deformity are present, immediate medical attention is required.

Causes

  • Bursitis which is the inflammation of the bursa sac that helps in cushioning the joints.
  • Fracture or dislocation of the elbow or arm
  • Fragments within the space of the joint
  • Gout is a type of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid in the joints
  • Overuse injury
  • Healing process of a broken bone
  • Tendinitis or inflammation of a tendon
  • Formation of hematoma due to an injury or blow over the elbow
  • Sebaceous cyst

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid performing activities that will cause inflammation of the bursa and avoid placing direct pressure on the area.
  • Wear elbow pads to protect the elbow from further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected elbow for at least 20 minutes at 2-3 times every day to lessen the swelling.
  • Compress the affected area using an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected joint to lessen the swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation.
  • Elevate the affected elbow above the level of the heart to lessen the flow of blood in the area.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the inflammation, swelling and pain.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises that includes stretches or strengthening activities and restore the normal range of motion of the elbow and muscle tone.

More Information

The details posted on this page on an elbow lump is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage joint conditions, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Dealing with hematoma

February 24th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Dealing with hematoma)

A hematoma is a localized accumulation of blood under the skin and looks like a reddish blue swelling or bruise. It is typically caused by a blunt disturbance to the body that results to bursting and leakage of the blood vessels.

A large-sized hematoma is a serious condition which puts plenty of pressure on the blood vessels and cause obstruction of blood flow in the area. This condition requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms of hematoma

Hematoma

A large-sized hematoma is a serious condition which puts plenty of pressure on the blood vessels and cause obstruction of blood flow in the area.

  • Pain and inflammation of the affected area.
  • The tissue is flooded with blood and results to swelling
  • Redness of the affected area due to accumulation of blood under the surface of the skin or subdermal hematoma.
  • Headaches and confusion
  • A lucid period where the individual eventually becomes unconscious. The lucid period is experienced right after the accumulation of blood and the flow of blood will result to loss of consciousness.
  • Weakness of the extremities

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest during the first 48 hours.
  • Immobilize the affected area that keeps the person in a normal structural position such as lying on the back with palms and feet pointed forward. This position helps promote fast healing and prevents further damage if it occurs in the extremities and the joints.
  • Apply a cold compress on the area immediately after the injury on the first 24-48 hours. Apply an ice pack on the affected area after a hematoma starts to develop for at least 15-20 minutes. The cold temperature causes constriction of the blood vessels and lessens swelling and accumulation of blood under the skin.
  • Apply a warm compress after 24-48 hours during the recovery period. It dilates the blood vessels for increased flow of blood in the area and supply of nutrients needed for healing. The warm sensation lessens the pain. Another alternative is taking a warm bath which has a similar effect to a warm compress and dissolves blood clots from the affected area due to the increased blood flow.
  • Massage the affected area in a circular motion or long strokes for proper flow of blood. It also dissolves superficial clots. Stop the massage if pain is triggered.
  • Perform isotonic exercises. These exercises contract both muscles such as the flexors and extensors without producing movement. These contractions increase the return of blood by compressing the blood vessels.
  • Elevate the affected extremities above the level of the heart to lessen the flow and prevent the hematoma from becoming large. Use a couple of pillows in raising the affected area. It also lessens the swelling, proper lymphatic drainage, eliminate of exudates and lessens tissue pressure.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen every 4-6 hours.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and flush toxins out of the body.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a hematoma is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage wounds by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Managing of KNEE ARTHRITIS

December 2nd, 2016 | Posted by Dannah Mae P. Banares in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Managing of KNEE ARTHRITIS)
tibial stress fracture

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints. The primary indications of arthritis are pain, swelling, and stiffness. Any joint in the body may be affected but it is commonly in the knee.

It is hard to do things everyday such as walking or bending your knees if you have that knee arthritis. T can cause loss of work time and disability for some.

 

Causes of Knee Arthritis

Age is the most common factor that causes knee arthritis. Several factors may increase the risk of developing arthritis at an early age.

  • Weight. It adds pressure on joints, especially the knees.
  • Gender. Women at the age of 55 and older are more likely than men to cultivate arthritis of the knee.
  • Athletics. Athletes may be at higher risk for developing arthritis of the knee who involves playing soccer, tennis and running. Regular moderate exercise reinforces joints and can decrease the risks.
  • Heredity. Genetic mutations can make a person more likely to develop arthritis of the knee.

    Knee arthritis

    It is hard to do things everyday such as walking or bending your knees if you have that knee arthritis.

What are the different symptoms of knee arthritis?

  • Pain that rises when you are active. swelling
  • sensation of warmth in the joint
  • painfulness in the knee, especially in the morning or when you have been sitting for a while
  • Reduction in mobility of the knee, making it hard to get in and out of cars and using of the stairs.
  • Creaking and snap sound that is noted when the knee moves

How to treat Knee arthritis?

Even if there is no remedy for arthritis, there are many treatment selections available to help manage pain and keep people staying active.

Relieving pain and to return mobility is the main goal why we need to treat arthritis of the knee. Treatment will basically include a combination of the following:

  1. Weight Loss. Losing a small amount of weight can possibly reduce knee pain.
  2. Regular exercise. Stretching help keep flexibility of the knee joints.
  3. Pain Relievers and Anti-inflammatory drugs. Acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen are some of the medications that can be bought over-the-counter that can relief pain. Sometime your doctor may recommend you these medicines to ease the pain on the knees.
  4. Alternative therapies. Some may be effective that includes topical creams with acupuncture or supplements.

Use the “RICE” method. Rest, ice, compression and elevation caused by arthritis are good for knee pain. Give your knees some rest and apply ice to the specific are to reduce swelling. Put on compressive bandage and keep your knee elevated.