Many of us have been using the RICE, PRICE or POLICE approach for the management of acute soft tissue injuries. Taking into account recent research developments, two Canadian Physiotherapists, have proposed a new approach to the way we manage these injuries, including a guide to rehab after the first 3 days. Meet PEACE and LOVE.
PROTECT: Within the first 1-3 days, avoid overusing the injured area to reduce bleeding and prevent aggravating the tissue further.
ELEVATE: Although there is limited evidence, elevating the limb may help to reduce fluid retention.
AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES: As inflammation is the body’s natural healing process, it is important to allow this process to occur in the early days. Inflammatory cells are responsible for signalling changes in tissue repair, so using medication or icing to prevent this process may delay healing.
COMPRESS: Compression can help reduce the amount of fluid in the area and reduce pain.
EDUCATION: Having an understanding of prognosis and setting realistic expectations are important to prepare you for the rehab process.
Once the initial inflammatory phase has settled (usually between 3-7 days), it is important to give your injury some LOVE to get back to doing what you love!
LOAD: Load management involves placing the tissue under an appropriate amount of stress to promote healing without over exertion. This usually involves an initial reduction in activity, followed by a gradual integration back into normal activities, training then sport.
OPTIMISM: Believe it or not, being positive about your recovery does get you back to 100% quicker. Factors such as increased stress and fear can delay healing.
VASCULARISATION: Pain free cardio activities (which doesn’t aggravate the injured site) will increase blood flow over all muscles of your body, promoting healing. It also helps to maintain your current fitness and physical activity levels.
EXERCISE: Tailored exercises throughout your recovery help to restore mobility, balance, strength and then progress back to performing normal activities. It is important to address the factors which may have lead to injury in the first place, to avoid reoccurrence.
Make sure you chat to one of our Physios about load management and exercise prescription for your injury, so we can help you get back to 100% as early as possible. To make an appointment to see a Physio you can press the button that’s below.
Research adapted from Dubois, B and Esculier, JF 2019, ‘Soft tissue injuries simply need PEACE & LOVE’, British Journal of Sports Medicine
This blog was written by Genna Harkness from the Burnside practice.