With football and netball season in full swing, soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains are common. What should you do if you have just come off the pitch/court with an injury?

The acronym ‘RICE’ (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) has underpinned the treatment of acute soft-tissue injuries for many years. However, this approach fails to consider the subacute and chronic stages of tissue healing. A recent study suggests, all you need is PEACE and LOVE.

For the first 1-3 days after injury, do no harm and let ‘PEACE’ be your guide

Protection: Avoid activities and movements that increase pain

Elevation: Keep the injured limb higher than the heart as often as possible

Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities: Avoid anti-inflammatory medications and icing

Compression: Use an elastic bandage or taping to provide external mechanical pressure to minimise swelling

Education: See a medical professional for guidance on your management and treatment

 

After 3 days has past, all you need is LOVE

Load: Let pain be your guide and gradually return to normal activities

Optimism: Psychological factors can also influence the success of rehabilitation – having confidence and positivity in your treatment plan will give you the best chance of recovery

Vascularization: Participate in pain-free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow to injured structures

Exercise: Restore mobility, strength, and proprioception through an active approach to recovery