Manage your Acute Injury with Peace and Love

acute injury ankle sprain injury first aid injury management injury screen knee injury pain and injury peace and love rice ricer sports injury sports physio sports trainer Feb 04, 2021
mans lower legs sitting holding an injured left leg with his left ankle bandaged. His blue trainers are off and placed on the wooed floor to his left with white socks tucked inside them

We all want to get back to doing the sport or hobby we love, with minimal interruption or down time. 

RICE(R) - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation ( Referral) has long been held the gold standard of acute injury management - but there's a new kid on the block now - and it goes by PEACE and LOVE!

The firs section - PEACE - is all about the acute phase - protecting and minimising further injury.

The second part LOVE shows how to progress after that initial 3 days into management of the injury.

In all cases these are guidelines - and the best injury management there is to be fully informed on what you have actually done - so you can best manage it and get back to full recovery in a timely manner! Ask your physio.

 PROTECT - In the acute stage we need to protect the injured area for up to 3 days - this may mean using an arm sling , or crutches to unload and take pressure off the damaged area to prevent further injury or damage occurring.

 ELEVATE - keep the injured area raised and ideally elevated higher than your heart to minimise and reduce swelling. If you can make sure it is fully supported.

 AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES - in the first 24-72 hours anti-inflammatories may be detrimental to healing as they can stop the repair process. Non anti-inflammatory based pain relief (eg panadol) is recommended - Seek advise.

 COMPRESS - use of a compression aid - whether just a bandage, taping, a brace or compression garment can help contain and reduce local swelling and bleeding within the damaged tissues. 

 Education - seek out professional advise from your physio and get guidance on what you have done and how to best manage it. Goals for recovery and management and of course rehab. and when and how to start loading it are key.

 LOAD - as we heal, we need to load the tissues - but being respectful of their stage of healing - stressing the joint and tissues correctly will promote healing and stimulate tissue repair.

 Optimism - fear of moving and further injury and potentially depression due to injury are predictors of poorer recovery. Being positive and pro active thinking plays a major part in the recovery process.

 VASCULARISATION - improve the blood supply to the damaged area! Blood carries nutrients and oxygen so the better the blood supply the more healing the tissues can do., so moving and exercising the area the right way will help.

 EXERCISE - moving the inured area within tolerance of pain, getting back to normal mobility and controlled exercise are key aspects to get your strength and rehabilitation. Key to preventing further injury or recurrent injury.

There are 3 main stages of healing - The initial response which is

  1. the  inflammatory stage - the body is trying to protect and minimise damage
  2. the repair phase -it's rebuilding and replacing damaged tissue
  3. the remodelling phase - its strengthening and re enforcing the new tissue

Depending on what you have done soft tissue damage and repair can be 3 weeks for a minor injury or strain but up to 3-6 months for more serious injuries.

It's really important that you protect healing tissue, but also stress them - hence why it's so important to know when to load and what direction to do that in - but always within your limits of pain.

Ask your physio for correct guidance so you are using the body's natural healing process and time frames most effectively!

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