Note: The content in this blog is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician. If you are unsure about following any of the below steps, please speak to your clinician.
Have you ever sprained your ankle or pulled a muscle and been told to give it RICE? RICE is a widely accepted principle of soft tissue injury management that stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
In 2020, the acronym for injury management underwent one of its biggest evolutions, to PEACE and LOVE. This approach covers the gaps left by previous approaches and outlines how to optimize your recovery immediately after injury and describes how you can manage your injury in the long term.
3 benefits of PEACE and LOVE over other principles
The PEACE and LOVE approach extends beyond the initial days of care for an injury. It incorporates new information we have learned about tissue healing at a biological level and takes into consideration a larger range of factors that contribute to recovery, such as inflammation, mindset, and exercise.
Inflammation is essential to healing
The biggest shift in this new approach to tissue healing involves discouraging the use of ice and anti-inflammatories in the first few days after injury. New research has shown that although ice may be effective at decreasing pain, it also prevents acute inflammation which is an important component of the tissue healing process.
By avoiding anti-inflammatories for the first few days, this allows a small amount of inflammation to occur in the injured area which kick-starts the healing process.
Optimism helps you heal
Pain involves much more than tissue damage. Your mindset, thoughts, emotions, and past experiences also play a role in shaping the way you experience pain.
Approaching your recovery with optimism can positively impact the way you respond to and manage your pain which can lead to a smoother recovery.
Movement is important
Taking an active approach to recovery has become the new “gold standard.” Returning to activity as soon as your symptoms allow will promote tissue recovery, improve your strength and mobility, enhance movement confidence, and get you back to feeling your best.
The PEACE and LOVE approach
Check out the infographic for a breakdown of the PEACE and LOVE approach to injury recovery. Click on the image below to view and download the full printable version.
This blog was written by Emily Karageorgos, a physiotherapy student at The University of Toronto