What is PRICE?
PRICE - Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
This 5 step program IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR INJURY is key to follow to ensure the best possible outcome following injury.
Following any injury the key is to protect the injured area and the injured person from further damage.
Immobilising the affected area may be required with a splint, or reducing the weight bearing on the area with a crutch may be required. If you can move, do so carefully to a safe area away from potential further damage.
Injuries need time to heal.
No matter how tough you may be, playing through the pain only equals further damage to the tissue and longer healing times. Grade 1 injuries can progress to grade 2 injuries very easily by ignoring them and not allowing sufficient healing and rehabilitation times.
It is hard to create the first tear, but very easy to continue tearing and damaging the tissue further if you do not stop
Ice the injured area immediately, ensuring no direct contact with the ice and skin as it could cause an ice burn to the skin, put the ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected tissue.
Ice reduces the inflammation and pain of the injury.
Icing for 15-20 minutes and allowing at least 1 hour between ice treatments yields the best results.
Ice decreases the temperature around the affected area, reducing the blood supply to the tissue thus reducing swelling.
Ice works best in the 48 following injury but you can continue icing as long the swelling persists
Compression of the affected area is key.
Wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.
Ensure it is not too tight and blood supply to the tissue below is not restricted. Pain, numbness, tingling, coolness are all signs that elastic wrap is too tight and you should remove it immediately. Should these symptoms persist you need to consult your GP.
Compression socks, tights, or flight socks are a really easy way to compress an injured ankle/foot,knee or hip issue.
Elevate the injured part above the level of your heart.
This helps minimise swelling of the affected area.
Following this self management protocol for the first 48-72 hours post injury gives you the best possible chance of helping yourself heal.
After 48-72 hours following injury consult your physiotherapist for further assessment, diagnosis and management of your injury
This plan ensures the pain of the injury is reduced, the swelling is reduced, further damage is prevented and the tissue can start to heal itself as quickly as possible.