The standards for acute soft tissue injuries have be upgraded over the years since RICE ( Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate) was initially recommended. The newest recommendations for immediate care take into consideration the potential harmful effects of ice for acute soft tissue injury. Immediately after injury, do not harm & treat with PEACE:
Unload for 1-3 days to minimize bleeding & protect distended tissues. No prolonged rest as that can compromise healing of injured tissues.
Elevate the injured limb above your heart to help improve blood flow out of the region.
A Avoid Anti inflammatories
Inflammation actually helps to repair damaged soft tissues. If you inhibit the inflammation in early stages of an injury, you can interrupt this process. Even the efficacy of ice has been questioned as potentially leading to impaired tissue repair.
The use of taping and bandages can limit the edema.
There should be an active approach to recovery. Load management is key to a quick recovery. Setting realistic expectations on the time it can take to heal is imperative.
After a few days, consider adding in LOVE
For soft tissues to recover they need appropriate load. Mechanical stress promotes repair and remodeling of tissue.
Your mindset has a direct link to your recovery. If you remain optimistic with your prognosis your recovery can be enhanced.
Pain free aerobic exercise should be started a few days after injury to increased blood flow to injured structures.
Exercise can help restore range of motion, strength and proprioception after an injury. Pain should be avoided to ensure repair of tissues.