TRAILSIDE INJURY MAINTENANCE
Mountain biking is an exciting sport. It is both thrilling and exciting. It can also have some bumps, and bruises. This article is going to give you some tips on what to carry on your person or your pack that will help you make it back to your car.
· An anti-inflammatory or Tylenol
· Triangle bandage or bandanna
· Antiseptic hand wipes
· Large and small band-aids
· Gauze pads or 4x4
· Large non-stick pads
· Self adhering elastic wrap (Coban)
· Ziploc bag
All of these items can be placed in the Ziploc bag for quick visualization of the items that you need. You can get fancy and carry Neosporin with you, butterfly closures, benzoin to get stuff to stick, etc. But the list above is a bare essentials list. Coban is nice to have because it does stick to itself and you don’t have to worry about being too sweaty for tape.
The first on the list is a must have! If you fall down, hit a tree, or are just going really hard, it is nice to have a pain reliever on hand to be taken at a moments notice. An NSAID such as Ibuprofen helps reduce swelling incase of injury as well as a mild – moderate pain reliever. Never exceed 2400mg of Ibuprofen in a 24 hour period of time. Tylenol is known for fever reducing as well as mild to moderate pain reliever, but not known so much as a swelling reducer. Never take more than 4000mg of Tylenol in a 24 hour period of time. Also, a well known fact about Tylenol is that it should never be taken with alcohol.
The triangle bandage or bandanna has many uses. The major use is to immobilize a suspected fracture. If you fall on the trail and you suspect that you have broken a collar bone, the bandage can be tied around the neck, with the sling part on the effected side to carry that arm in. This is done to keep from placing strain on the fractured collar bone. In the case of a fractured limb, the limb will swell almost immediately; there may/may not be obvious deformity, continued severe pain, possible numbness below sight of injury. ICE is the acronym for the immediate care of a fracture. Immobilize, cool, and elevate. On the trail you can use the bandage and a strong stick or bike pump to wrap the limb and immobilize it. Then go to the doctor! Another use for the bandage is to help with the covering of wounds, cleaning, etc.
Antiseptic hand wipes are used to clean your hands before working on your wounds. They can be used to clean wounds as well.
Large and small band-aids are used of course to cover your wounds, after you clean them. Or just to cover them until you get to the car or house to thoroughly clean the wound.
Gauze pads can be used to aid in cleaning the wound, or cover the wound. Covering the wound with gauze can be tricky because it tends to stick to wounds. If this happens, use some warm water to soak the gauze to help remove it.
The large non-stick pads are awesome. They are the gold standard in wound coverage. You can impregnate them with Neosporin and plop right on top of your well cleaned cut or scrape. These can be cut to size.
Coban is used to wrap over the non-stick pad. This works better than tape in the sense that it does not stick to your skin. This wrap can also be reused if not a bloody mess.
This is a small kit that can be easily carried on the trail with you. It can fit in a jersey pocket or in your camelback. It should be seen as essential as your spare tubes. In closing, if there is any doubt in caring for a wound yourself, seek help!