There is a fantastic new mneumonic being used to help us reframe thinking around acute soft tissue injury. You have probably heard of – and even used – RICE, or more recently, RICER (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate, Refer), but now we’re all about PEACE and LOVE✌🏼!
So, let’s start by defining what exactly is an acute soft tissue injury. It is an injury to muscle or connective tissue-like ligaments or tendons that occurs from sudden trauma. This trauma could include slipping over, lifting something too heavy, a collision on the sports field, etc. It comes on quickly and has an apparent cause of injury like an ankle sprain.
The immediate response to acute soft tissue injury is still RICER; this will help to address the pain, swelling, and inflammation that may occur at onset and throughout the first few days…however, the invaluable piece of information that isn’t always conveyed with RICER is that full rehabilitation takes longer than simply getting to being pain free again! Welcome, PEACE and LOVE.
After the initial symptoms such as pain, swelling, and bruising begin to subside, the nervous system stops signalling that there is an immediate issue that your body needs to stop and protect. We often misinterpret this as the end of recovery, but at this point the tissue hasn’t yet regained adequate strength, mobility, or proper healing. To ensure the injured tissue regains full mobility and strength, and to reduce the likelihood of future injury, we need to continue to support the healing process. As osteopaths, we support recovery through providing hands-on manual therapy, appropriate management and rehabilitation, such as injury-specific strengthening exercises, stretches, modifying habits, or lifestyle advice, or referral for specialised support to help you feel confident and informed in your recovery.
The extent of injuries varies and this affects or determines how we may manage your injuries and how long we expect the tissue will take to heal or until you are back to full strength and doing what you love.
We are here to make sure we take care of the whole you through the whole journey and return to health! If you have recently injured yourself or have concerns about an old or recurrent injury it may be a good time to check in with one of our osteopaths or myotherapists for support.
See the image below to learn more about PEACE and LOVE.