Peace & Love – Soft tissue injury & management
I’m sure when you have suffered an injury before, you have heard the acronym R.I.C.E ……
But have you ever heard someone use Peace or Love to heal you?
Okay, well not just Peace and Love, but P.E.A.C.E or L.O.V.E?
Ever since 2019, in the world of soft tissue injury & management these two words are the new kids on the block.
So, what do they meanand how do they apply to your injury?
Let’s start with P.E.A.C.E. This should be applied immediately after you have suffered a soft tissue injury.
P – PROTECT
- If possible, restrict movement for 1-3 days after your injury
- This will help to: Reduce Bleeding & Reduce the risk of reinjury.
- Allow pain to guide your movements, if something is causing you excessive pain, STOP.
E – Elevate
- If possible, elevate the injured limb higher than your heat. This will allow fluid to move out of the injured area & aid in swelling reduction.
A – Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Medications & Modalities
- You may think you are helping the healing process, but infact you may actually be inhibiting your bodies natural inflammatory processes.
- This includes Ice, Anti-inflammatory medications & Anti-inflammatory creams.
- To summarise, your body normally knows best, so let it do its thing.
- Recent studies have now identified that the use of cold therapy for acute soft tissue injuries is no longer recommended, because the reduction of inflammation may also delay healing. It is now recognised that inflammation is necessary to promote healing. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/54/2/72.full.pdf
C – Compress
- Taping or Bandages are recommended in the PEACE principle.
- Compression has been shown to help reduce tissue swelling & bleeding.
- Please make sure to allow for joint movement & do not tape/bandage the area too tight.
E – Educate
- As physiotherapists it is our job to educate our patients on “active” ways to manage injuries.
- These can be completed at home by the patient with little or no involvement from the practitioner.
- As much as we love treating our patients it’s our responsibility to avoid over treating.
- Giving our patients the tools to manage their injuries actively is always our focus.
Okay so we have talked about P.E.A.C.E, now let’s move onto a bit of L.O.V.E.
We should use the principle L.O.V.E a few days after soft tissue injury has occurred.
L – Load
- It is important that normal activities resume as soon as your symptoms allow for it
- An active approach with movement and exercises will help to load the injured area without increasing pain
- This will help to promote tissue repair and remodelling
O – Optimism
- We all know how it feels to be injured but do you know how important psychology is in injury recovery?
- The brain plays an important part in the rehabilitation process.
- Patients often experience, Depression, Fear & Anxiety. These are barriers to recovery & often lead to a dysfunctional recovery process.
- As physiotherapists it’s our role to be realistic with injury timelines but also promote optimism around the recovery process.
V - Vascularisation
- This may seem simple but getting the body moving & exercising after injury is important.
- Pain free cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve blood flow to the injured structures.
- Cardiovascular exercise is also a great motivation booster & links into the previous comments about Optimism.
E – Exercise
- People are often fearful of completing exercises during the early stage of rehab.
- However, evidence supports that gentle exercise therapy aids in tissue repair & reduces the risk of reinjury.
- Exercises should aim to avoid pain.
- Exercise in this early phase of rehab will help; Restore mobility, Restore Strength & Restore Proprioception.
In summary, the management of soft tissue injuries, should not only focus on short term healing but also the long-term health & function of the area. As Clinicians our role is to educate & actively promote self-care at home when possible.
These principles along with many others are used frequently at our treatment centre in Newcastle. We treat a variety of acute & chronic injuries daily& strive for elite customer service & care.
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