Do I Ice or Heat My Recent Injury?

HEAT OR ICE?! One of the most common questions we get asked as physical therapists is “should I use heat or ice on my injury” A recent article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine has introduced a new management protocol that encompasses stages of healing from the initial injury, all the way through, return to sports and activity, and it isn’t exactly what you would expect! We are familiar with the concept of RICE or PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) for the acute management of injuries, but they do not address the sub-acute and chronic phases of healing.


Introducing……. PEACE (immediate) and LOVE (recovery)!!! 


P – PROTECTION – avoid activities and movements that increase pain in the first few days.

E – ELEVATE – Elevate the injured limb higher than the heart as often as possible. 

A – AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES – avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications as they reduce tissue healing. AVOID ICING. 

C – COMPRESSION – use an elastic bandage or taping to reduce swelling.

E – EDUCATION – Your body knows best. Avoid unnecessary passive treatments and medical investigations and let nature play its role.


L – LOAD – Let pain guide your gradual return to activities. Your body will tell you when it’s safe to increase the load.

O – OPTIMISM – Condition your brain for optimal recovery by being confident and positive. 

V – VASCULARIZATION – Choose pain-free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow to repair tissues.

E – EXERCISE – Restore mobility, strength, and proprioception by adopting an active approach to recovery.

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