"Put some ice on it." Yes or No?
For years, RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – has been the standard recommended treatment for soft-tissue injuries. But many experts are now voicing concern over whether RICE aids healing because it focuses on acute management and ignores sub-acute and chronic stages of tissue healing. Scientific evidence shows that cooling the injured soft tissue causes vasoconstriction (tightening of blood vessels). This means that healing cells cannot reach the injured tissue, thereby slowing the healing response.
So, if RICE is out, what should you do? The newest acronym covers rehabilitation from immediate care of injury (PEACE) to ongoing management (LOVE). PEACE & LOVE, that sounds really nice!
Avoid activities and movements that increase
pain during the first few days after the injury.
Elevate the injured limb higher than the heart
as often as possible.
Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications as
they reduce tissue healing and YES, avoid icing.
Use elastic bandages or
taping to reduce swelling.
Your body knows best. Avoid unnecessary
passive treatments and medical investigations,
and let nature play its role.
Let pain guide your gradual return to normal
activities. Your body will tell you when it's safe
to increase the load.
Condition your brain for optimal recovery
by being confident and positive.
Choose pain-free cardiovascular activities
that increase blood flow to help repair
Restore mobility, strength, and proprioception
by adopting an active approach to recovery.
While loading and exercise are a huge part of recovery after an injury, it is best to gradually return with the consultation of our athletic trainer, Molly. If any student-athlete is referred to or sees an outside provider/doctor for an injury, athletes are REQUIRED to obtain a clearance note to return to activity. It would be beneficial to mention to the doctor that there is an athletic trainer at our school as Molly may be able to progress the student faster if they don’t write a standard “out for 2 weeks with no activity” type of note.
Questions?If you have any questions about
your student-athlete's injury or
whether to see a doctor, please
reach out to Molly for assistance.
Molly Awiszus, MS, LAT, ATC