Broken a Bone? What to Do and Where to Go

Having a broken bone is no walk in the park. It can be extremely painful and difficult to cope with. While it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, you can also do some things to help care for your broken bone. Here are some tips on what to do (and what not to do) when you have a broken bone.

Seek medical attention immediately

If you have broken a bone, the first and most important thing is to seek medical attention. You can do this by searching “urgent care near me” or calling emergency services. This is especially important if the bone is protruding from the skin or if there is significant swelling. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, they will likely give you specific instructions on caring for your injury. 

If medical attention isn’t nearby:

If medical attention is not nearby, it is important to immobilize the injured area as much as possible. This will help reduce the risk of further injury. Apply ice to the area to reduce swelling. If possible, elevate the injured area to reduce swelling. You should also wear loose, comfortable clothing and use pain medication if needed until help arrives.

How to deal with a broken neck or spine

If you break your neck or spine, it is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately. Do not move the injured person unless absolutely necessary (if they are in a burning car, for example). If possible, lie the casualty flat and keep the head and neck in alignment with the rest of the body. If you are unable to do so, try to support the head and neck with your hands or a rolled-up towel, and do not move. Apply ice to the injured area as soon as possible to reduce swelling and encourage the casualty to keep communicating with you to monitor their condition. If they are wearing a helmet, do not remove it.

How to care for a broken bone

Once you or the casualty has received medical attention, their broken bone will likely be in a cast to keep the bone straight. It’s important to keep the cast clean and dry, so avoid getting any water on the cast but wipe the visible skin to keep the area hygienic. Elevate the injured area as much as possible and use pillows or blankets to support the injured area during sleep. It’s vital not to bump or hit the cast, so wrapping the broken area in a blanket or scarf while you sleep can help to avoid accidentally making the break worse during the night.

Tips for healing quickly

Most regeneration occurs during sleep, so get plenty of rest. Your body will struggle to heal if you’re constantly sleep-deprived, so try to get as much as possible. Your diet can also make a big difference – plenty of calcium is important to help regrow your bone and strengthen it. As directed by your doctor, light exercise will also help strengthen the area. You might find that using the affected area might cause pain and discomfort, so stop the activity you’re doing until the pain has gone. Pain is a symptom of tissue damage, so you shouldn’t grin and bear it if you want your body to heal. Your body won’t thank you for it, so you need to do everything that you can to help it.

calcium supplement
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

Additional tips:

A broken bone can sometimes go unnoticed for months before it becomes a problem. In many cases, people have been walking on a broken ankle without realizing it, only to one day find that their skin has suddenly become bruised. It’s, therefore important to know the signs and symptoms of a broken bone. The most common sign of a broken bone is pain, but a broken bone can cause nothing more than discomfort for those with a very high pain threshold. If you suspect you may have broken a bone, these symptoms might give you a clue as to what’s wrong:

  • Swelling 
  • Bruising 
  • Tenderness 
  • Deformity 
  • Loss of function 
  • Numbness or pins and needles

If you have a broken bone, it can be hard to know what to do. However, by following the above advice, you should be prepared for any situation, even if you’re unsure if a bone has broken.

Featured Photo by Victoria Borodinova: