Recovering in the nick of time

With the AFL grand final fast approaching, the Eagles are sweating on the recovery of star defender Jeremy McGovern after he took a corky in the preliminary final. Corkies can be tough things for anyone to deal with, here are the best tips on how to manage one:

Relative rest

Taking it easy in the early phase is number one. The important thing to remember though is that this does not mean opening a bag of chips and sitting down all day doing nothing. It is important to keep some healthy movement through the area in ways which promote blood flow, remove excess swelling and promote recovery. Depending on the area of the body that’s affected, your physio will be able to show you how to do this, and how often.


Ice for 20 minutes every couple of hours is a good rule of thumb in the first 72 hours after taking a corky. Interestingly, icing more often than this regime doesn’t seem to give you much additional benefit as the body’s ever-adapting vascular system makes changes which prevent the ice from doing further cooling work through the muscle. Keep a tea-towel or something similar between the ice and the area to avoid it being unnecessarily painful and any complications from ‘ice-burn’ is wise.


This is another way to keep the body’s inflammatory response (it’s healing response) at a healthy level. Swelling is not all bad – without it, you would find it very difficult to heal – but if we can keep swelling at a healthy level, the body part doesn’t become overly stiff and tight and new swelling can regularly flow in to replace the old. Your physio may decide to use tape or compression bandage to facilitate this for you.


Where possible, spending some time with the body part above the level of the heart is helpful too. This might mean popping the leg up over the armrest of the couch or propped up on a few pillows in bed. Try coordinating this with your 20 minutes of ice for easy use.

So there it is, that’s the mainstay of recovering from a corky. As you can see, your physio will point you in the right direction with individualising these strategies for your particular injury. This is especially important if you haven’t had an injury like this before or if you haven’t used any of these strategies like ice or compression.

Your physio will also assess your injury to rule out any more significant injuries and give you the peace of mind and confidence to get back into the action as soon as possible… whether that’s playing a grand final or (hopefully) celebrating a win!

To book an appointment about your corky, call (08) 9364 4073 or book online.