Acute Injury Management

Many would be familiar with the acronym “RICE” as being the recommended treatment for acute soft tissue injuries. However, there has now been a shift in this recommendation, with the newer “PEACE & LOVE” acronym being the one to follow. Here, we break it down using the most recent evidence.

PROTECT

After an injury, the recommendation is to temporarily protect the area that is recovering. The timeframe for protection is dependent on the type of injury. As always, our goal is to restore normal strength and function to assist you in returning to enjoyed activities in a graduated manner. Long periods of rest can actually lead to prolonged recovery as a result of altered movement patterns and reduced strength, so early mobilisation is key.

ELEVATE

Elevating the affected area uses gravity to assist in the reduction of swelling present in the site of injury

AVOID

Anti-inflammatory drugs & ice: Inflammation itself isn’t necessarily the “bad guy”, so taking anti-inflammatories can prolong the recovery process. If you do require pain medication outside of anti- inflammatories, it is best to discuss this with your trusted GP. The evidence surrounding ice remains unclear – while some studies suggest that ice has a pain-reducing effect, the evidence is vague when it comes to the impact it has on swelling.

COMPRESS

With taping or bandages to assist with swelling.

EDUCATE

It is important to discuss your injury with your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist so they can provide scientifically based education on your injury and recovery.

LOAD

Anti-inflammatory drugs & ice: Inflammation itself isn’t necessarily the “bad guy”, so taking anti-inflammatories can Loading the tissue optimally actually assists with the recovery process and re-building tissue tolerance and capacity. The key here is optimising load so that you are strengthening these tissues without excessive aggravation of symptoms, and this is where your Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist can come in handy.

OPTIMISM

Psychological factors such as fear, catastrophising and low mood can all act as barriers to your recovery. Through the recovery process, optimism and understanding the recovery timeframes assist with keeping realistic expectations of your recovery. Remember that recovery isn’t always linear and there may be small hurdles along the way, which are part of the normal recovery process.

VASCULARISATION

Cardiovascular exercises are extremely important during the recovery process to assist with facilitating blood flow to the injured area, but also to assist with reducing swelling and in turn, pain.

EXERCISE & Enjoyed Activities:

As always, our goal is to restore normal function using exercise to achieve your goals and enable you to participate in your enjoyed activities.

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References:

Dubois B and Esculier JF. (2020). Soft tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE. British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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