Treating Minor Sports Injuries
The Peace and Love Principle
Say goodbye to RICE! PEACE and LOVE are the new kids in town when it comes to managing injuries.
In the past, the most common approach managing injuries was the old RICE method. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and was introduced by Dr Gabe Mirkin. With more recent research in the last decade, it is now known that there is so much more complexity to managing injuries. Research is now leaning towards PEACE and LOVE. What do these acronyms mean and how can they apply to your injury? Here, we share how they can bring positive results and help you get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
What is the PEACE Approach?
Immediately after getting injured, use the PEACE approach.
Try to unload or restrict movement for 1 to 3 days. This reduces bleeding and the risk of making the injury worse. However, don’t completely stop moving – allow the pain to guide your movements. If the injured area is causing excessive pain, stop.
Wherever possible, elevate the injured limb higher than your heart. This will allow interstitial fluid to move out of the injured area & aid in swelling reduction.
Avoid anti-inflammatory medications
Since the various phases of inflammation is crucial in repairing the damaged tissues, any anti-inflammatory medications may negatively affect healing.
Compression tools such as taping or bandages helps to limit joint swelling and tissue bleeding, so they are recommended in the PEACE approach.
Just make sure not to tape or bandage the injured area too tight. There should enough room for joint movement.
As physiotherapists, it is our responsibility as physiotherapists to educate our clients on the importance and benefits of an active approach to recovery. With better education, the injured person can be fully aware of their condition and have realistic expectations about their recovery times.
Next Step: Apply Some L.O.V.E.
After the first few days of your injury, you may need to give your injured area some LOVE! This stage focuses on transitioning from a period of rest and protection to the recovery, which requires more active and aerobic forms of recovery. LOVE stands for:
An active approach of movement and exercise are highly beneficial in the treatment of most soft-tissue injuries. As soon as the symptoms allow, try to resume normal activities to promote tissue repair and rebuild tolerance & strength.
Psychology and your mental state play a bigger role in recovery than you might think. Observational studies have shown that beliefs and emotions were found to have more of an impact on the variation in symptoms following an ankle sprain than physiological factors. As a result, stay positive and optimistic as much as possible in your recovery!
Cardiovascular activity is important in managing injuries. Getting started with some pain-free aerobic exercise (such as a light jog or cycling) a few days after injury will boost motivation, increase blood flow and reduce the need for pain medication.
In order to properly treat soft-tissue injuries and reduce the prevalence of recurrent injuries, exercise after a few days is key to recovery. Exercises help to restore mobility, strength and proprioception (our sense of joint & limb positioning).
What’s Wrong with RICE?
Since its formation in 1978, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) has been widely used. However, new research emerging since 2014 has questioned the effectiveness of ice and complete rest. As a matter of fact, Dr Mirkin, who developed the RICE method, retracted his initial hypothesis, writing that “both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping.”
The PEACE and LOVE approaches are a simple and comprehensive guide to the fundamentals of soft-tissue injuries. However, please note that they cannot be applied to all types of injuries.
For that reason, before you proceed with these approaches, it’s important to accurately identify the particular injury you have. From there you can implement the best treatment methods and approach to recover optimally.
Seek Medical Attention if Required
If you’ve followed the PEACE and LOVE method but there are still signs of pain and swelling, it is best to seek medical help as soon as possible. If your injury is improving but not to its maximum capacity, you can seek a physiotherapist! Your physiotherapist can help to rehabilitate the injured area and develop a tailored treatment and exercise program to improve your strength and flexibility.
Depending on the type of injury you have sustained, the treatment will include various aspects such as strengthening and mobilisation exercises, pain relief techniques and functional skills. The goal is to ensure a quick recovery, restoring full function and strengthening weakened muscle groups so that the risk of reinjury is minimised.
With proper physiotherapy care and patience, you’ll be back in shape in no time!
Need Help with Your Injuries?
At Prohealth Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy Centres, we offer hands-on treatments for sports-related injuries as well as other conditions that affect the musculoskeletal and neural systems.
Our physiotherapists are professional and experienced in working with clients of all ages and experience levels in their sport. Our treatment plans are always personalised for each individual to each their maximum recovery potential. Working with our physios, you will receive a detailed assessment to fully understand the root cause and identify areas requiring treatment.
If you have specific concerns or fascial-related issues, we can help determine the most suitable treatment plan for you.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our physiotherapists.