Turns out the Hippies where right after all. Sort of. Rather than being a post on free love and dropping out this is a post on soft tissue injuries and how to treat them. You see POLICE and PEACE and LOVE are acronyms for soft tissue injury treatment. Long before either of these there was RICE. Everybody knows what RICE is; Rest Ice Elevation Compression. This has been the standard method for treating sprains, strains and bruises for a long time and it appeared to work fairly well and made sense. Turns out it isn't all that good. Putting ice on an injury to take the swelling down seems like a sensible thing to do until you realise that in doing so you actualy interfere with the healing process.
SO along came POLICE which stands for Protection Optimal Loading Ice Compresoin Elevation. POLICE works well because it highlights the importance of keeping tissues moving during the healing process. This is crucial for insuring a more favourable outcome. But it still advises the use of ice, compression and elevation to reduce the negative effects of swelling and inflammation which is all a necessary part of the repair process. So now we come to a new way of treating injuries that takes into account the body's own innate healing mechanisms.
In the event of an injury remember; do no harm and let PEACE be your guide:
Protect. Restrict movement for the first 3 days.
Elevate. Lift the injured limb up to allow drainage of interstitial fluid.
Avoid anti-inflammatories. Inflammation is natures way of healing.
Compress. Bandages and taping can help reduce oedema.
Educate. Get familiar with what works and what doesn't and what you should be doing to rehabilitate yourself. Mother nature knows what you need.
After a few days an injury needs LOVE:
Load. Get that thing moving. Mechanical load is essential for healing
Optimism. Optimistic patients have better outcomes. Fact.
Vascularisation. Cardiovascular exercise is important. Keep moving and get that blood flowing.
Exercise. Essential for ensuring the same injury doesn't happen again. Restore strength, mobility and proprioception.