One of the most commonly known acronyms in health and fitness has to be “RICE” (Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate). Most people know it and have used at some point. The problem is, when RICE was first suggested back in the 70s it wasn’t even based on research (see our previous blog post). Even the person who came up with the RICE principle says it is no longer valid! It is now widely accepted that both ice and complete rest may delay healing, instead of helping.
So how should new injuries be treated then?
Well, more current research has suggested that acute soft tissue injuries just need some ‘PEACE’ & ‘LOVE’.
Immediately after an injury, you need to give your body some PEACE:
P = Protect
Minimise movement in the affected area for 1-3 days reduce the risk of re-aggravating the injury. Rest however should be kept to a minimum, as prolonged rest can reduce tissue strength.
E = Elevation
Elevate the limb higher than the heart to promote flow of fluid out of the injured area.
A = Avoid Anti-Inflammatories
Inflammation is actually the bodies way of repairing injured tissue. Therefore, the use of anti-inflammatories in the few days after an injury may actually slow healing.
C = Compression
Use bandages or taping to help reduce localised swelling.
E = Education
Speak to a health professional about the benefits of an active approach to recovery. Returning to activity, you need some LOVE!
L = Load
Return to normal activity should start as soon as symptoms allow. Gently loading without stirring up pain helps promote tissue repair.
O = Optimism
Being optimistic about your injury is actually associated with more better recovery!
V = Vascularisation
Pain free aerobic (or cardiovascular) exercise should be started a few days after the initial injury. It can help boost motivation and increase blood flow to the injured site.
E = Exercise
For long term tissue health and prevention of recurrent injuries, exercise is key! By restoring strength, movement and balance after injury, you can give yourself the best chance to be injury free in the future.
And as always, if you have experienced an injury, come and see us at AA Physio to get you back on track and find the best way to keep you moving!