What’s P.R.I.C.E. got to do with injury care?

In fact a lot!

P.R.I.C.E. is the acronym for:

Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate for the treatment of soft tissue injuries.

How does it work?

  • Protect from further injury.
  • Rest the affected body part.
  • Ice the affected site for 10-20 minutes every 2-4 hours for the first 48 hours.
  • Compress the affected site with suitable stretchy wrap in-between icing but not whilst asleep.
  • Elevate the affected site above heart level when possible.

This all seems so simple, and it is. However, when done diligently the benefits are great. You can minimise tissue damage, reduce pain, and healing time is reduced – I have frequently seen this when with touring sports teams and the sports medical staff make sure it is adhered to closely.

Also it is important to avoid ‘harms’ such as alcohol and anti-inflammatory drugs in this early phase. Paracetamol is fine. Alcohol can increase the tissue swelling and also impair good decision making!

Dr Simon Mayhew

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