The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Medical Needs and First Aid => Topic started by: walker on May 18, 2009, 09:13:54 PM

Title: Turf Toe to Torticollis (musculoskeletal injury module)
Post by: walker on May 18, 2009, 09:13:54 PM
Minor musculoskeletal injuries (sprains, strains, tendonitis, contusions, minor fractures)

Ok, since a couple of folks of this forum are enjoying my diatribe on first-aid essentials, I will move on to something a wee bit more interesting but still very common.

The most common musculoskeletal injuries are to the ankles, knees, and back.  Once again, proper prevention is key.  The proper selection of footwear, maintaining good physical condition, and warm-up activities are very important.  10 min warm-up activity followed by stretches, in that order, can help to prevent many but not all injuries.  In an emergency situation you will have no time for this, but if you are about to hump 80lbs of beans and bullets to another location you should try.

The good news is there are few musculoskeletal injuries that are true life and death emergencies.  “When in doubt ship it out” is one good rule to follow when it is time to consider evacuation.  Other important things to look for include, but are not limited to: poor circulation or numbness in the extremity, severe pain over bony protuberances, or the potential for a femur, pelvis, spine, or skull fracture.  Obviously, angulated or compound factures and dislocations may need to be reduced (straightened) in the field before transport.  Knowing how and when to apply a traction splint is good knowledge.   I won't try to cover this, you need training to do it right under austere conditions.

Splints and taping applications are sometimes necessary, get some training at a Wilderness First Responder Course.  My advanced kit does contain some additional goodies, but I don't carry it on my person everywhere.  As I add the different “modules” to the kit, I make note of duplicate items and usually keep only one of each item. 

As for my musculoskeletal care module, I keep it simple and light.
1 cravat (triangular bandage)
4 large safety pins (mulitple uses that include treatment of a subungual hematoma/bleeding under fingernail)
1 small roll of duct tape
1 SAM Splint (while many field expedient splints can be made, nothing does it as well as a SAM)
1 Roll 2” Coban Wrap

Pain/Inflammation Control:
Ibuprofin (Ranger Candy), I carry at least 30 tabs of 200mg (lower dosing for kids) or 10 tabs of 600mg, enough for using it at 600mg strength 3 times per day for three days.  I find 600mg works just as well for me as 800mg, and some studies support my observations.  Less = less side effects for some things like Ibuprofin
Naprosyn, I carry enough for 500mg twice per day for three days.

Because of my propensity for back spasms, I also add:
10 tabs cyclobenzaprine 10mg (muscle relaxant)
10 tabs Darvocet-N100 (pain control that does not make me loopy and nauseated)

(These are prescription doses, and you should ALWAYS consult your medical provider before taking ANY medications OR providing medical treatment.)