The RICE treatment has been used for years as the go to treatment for soft tissue injuries, but heading into 2023 we’ve turned our focus to PEACE & LOVE. Let us explain.
RICE therapy is a long-time popular medical treatment that focuses on managing pain, swelling and blood flow after a soft tissue injury. RICE stands for:
Rest - Stop all motion of the affected area to protect the injury from any additional strain.
Ice - Ice the affected area to prevent swelling and help in pain management.
Compression - Use a compression bandage to wrap the affected area to further reduce swelling.
Elevate - Elevate the injured area to the heart level or above to help blood circulate.
PEACE & LOVE is a treatment for soft tissue injuries that was proposed by Dubois and Esculier in 2019. PEACE & LOVE addresses soft tissue injury management from the initial injury to ongoing physical therapy. It focuses on education on the specific injury, how to stay optimistic during recovery, and the importance of resuming light exercise when tolerable to improve blood flow, mobility and muscle activity. PEACE & LOVE stands for:
Protection - Avoid activities that increase injury pain for the first 1-3 days at minimum. This will help limit excess pain and prevent excess bleeding or tissue disruption/injury.
Elevation - Elevate the affected limb above heart level to help improve blood circulation and decrease swelling.
Avoid anti-inflammatories: This includes anti-inflammatory medicine and over-icing as both can impact tissue healing during the initial stages. Note that it is important to discuss the specific use of anti-inflammatory medication with your medical doctor.
Compression: Use a compression wrap to help reduce swelling.
Education: It is essential to educate yourself on load (working with weight or resistance) management and on your specific injury or condition. Taking an ACTIVE approach is best. Instead of relying on passive healing techniques such as massage and modalities like TENS and ultrasound, being active in your recovery can actually speed up the healing process.
Load: Early and controlled loading will help to improve tissue repair, tissue remodelling, tendon tolerance, global mobility, and global muscle strength.
Optimism: Improving optimism with respect to patient expectations with recovery can lead to better outcomes and prognosis through rehabilitation.
Vascularization: Light cardiovascular/aerobic exercise in a pain-free capacity should be started as soon as tolerated. This will help improve blood flow, mobility, and muscle activity and lead to better and faster recovery.
Exercise: Loading the tissue optimally through exercise has been shown to improve strength, mobility, proprioception, and balance after injury and help to prevent re-injury.
The PEACE & LOVE principle trumps RICE as it is a more well-rounded treatment. The RICE method focuses on the immediate treatment of soft tissue injuries whereas PEACE & LOVE covers the whole recovery from immediate care with PEACE and long-term management with LOVE.
PEACE & LOVE requires the patient to take an ACTIVE approach to recovery. We also know that introducing movement and protected loading early on after a soft tissue injury promotes better healing and recovery down the road.
At Maven, we love promoting active participation from our clients. We work with our clients to help them take ownership of their rehab and recovery so that they can get back to doing what they love as soon as possible. Contact us today for more information!