• Injury Management: Ditch R.I.C.E for PEACE & LOVE

  • Knowing how to best manage strains, sprains, bumps and bruises is crucial but possibly even more important right now with our current world of regular lockdowns and restricted travel.

    Strains, sprains and other acute injuries can happen anywhere, not just the sporting field, so we want to give you more information and keep you up to date with the latest on acute soft tissue injury management. 

    Acute injury management for soft tissues has evolved over the years and we have in the past written about the progression from RICE to POLICE and over the last two years we have seen the start of a shirt away from that again! 

    The past RICE & more modern POLICE management is an effective way to manage pain and swelling, but is this the best way to manage the injury and healing itself in a strong, resilient way?

    A more recent acronym to manage acute injuries is known as PEACE & LOVE, which may seen a bit whishy washy but actually makes a lot of sense!

    Part 1: Peace

    “Immediately after injury, do no harm and let PEACE guide your approach.”

    The PEACE approach is what to do acutely (when the injury happens 72 hours following). Its idea is to not harm the injury further and allow the body to do what it wants to do.

    • Protect
    • Elevate
    • Avoid anti-inflammatories
    • Compression
    • Education

    Protecting the injury is vital to avoid any aggravation via trying to move or load that area too soon. You can move it, but protect it from things that may make it worse.

    Avoid anti-inflammatories is a newer idea and also makes sense as there is a reason why your body reacts the way it does when there is an injury. Inflammation is the body’s response as this reaction allows for the healing of the damage area, so inhibiting this will not allow for the best outcome!

    Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself – so let it do its thing.

    Education is where we physios can come in and help further guide what should/shouldn’t be done with your injury.

     

    Part 2: L.O.V.E

    “After the first days have passed, soft tissues need LOVE.”

    Injuries do likely stick around for longer than just a few days and the LOVE acronym allows us to return to where we once were before the injury – and even maybe better than before!

    • Load
    • Optimism
    • Vascularization
    • Exercise

     

    Adding load/mechanical stress as tolerated early actually promotes repair, remodelling, and tissue tolerance (makes the tissue heal strong).

    Exercise becomes super important because as your injury gets better, exercise will be a large influence on your return to regular activity. If we can get stronger and move as we usually did, the likelihood of the same injury occurring significantly decreases.

    Physio is here to help with these injuries and to help guide you back to where you were and where you need to be for work/sport. Knowing what to do, and that it is safe to do so for each specific injury and grade of injury, can be huge when going through the phases of your recovery.

    Please refer to the image for a nice run down about PEACE & LOVE.

    PEACE LOVE acute tissue management guide