A New Acronym for Injury Management
Have you ever sustained an injury, such as an ankle sprain, or perhaps a muscle strain, and been told to give it ‘RICE’? RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This acronym has been a widely accepted principle of soft tissue injury management.
Recently, there has been an evolution of the acronym for injury management. The ‘PEACE and LOVE’ acronym covers the gaps left by previous approaches and outlines how to optimize your recovery immediately after injury, as well as how you can manage your injury in the short to long term.
Following an injury, allow 1-3 days of ‘PEACE’.
P: Protection – Protect your injury by limiting actions that cause an increase in pain.
E: Elevation – Elevate the injured area higher than your heart to help reduce swelling.
A: Avoid anti-inflammatory medications – Anti-inflammatories can disrupt the tissue healing process in the early stages.
C: Compression – Compress the area to help control swelling, such as with an elastic bandage.
E: Education – Seek out education and resources from a professional regarding how to approach recovery.
Beyond the first 3 days, your injured tissues need ‘LOVE’.
L: Load – Early movement promotes healing and is encouraged. Experiencing mild discomfort is ok as long as it subsides after activity. Return to normal activity as soon as you can.
O: Optimism – Stay positive! Research studies demonstrate that having confidence and optimism will condition your brain for a better recovery.
V: Vascularization – Start to engage in light, pain-free aerobic activity such as walking or biking. Exercise increases blood flow which will help promote tissue healing.
E: Exercise – Taking an active approach to recovery will help restore mobility and strength in the injured area. Be sure to pay attention to your pain levels.
Follow these guidelines to start your recovery journey early. If you continue to experience discomfort or limitations after your injury, make an appointment to speak with one of our healthcare professionals for an in-depth assessment.