P.R.I.C.E. to Treat your Muscle or Soft Tissue Injury
Health care professionals recommend the P.R.I.C.E. treatment method within the first 24-48 hours following injuries such as strains, sprains, muscle pulls or tears. Using the P.R.I.C.E. method can help relieve pain, limit swelling and protect injured tissues.
Protect - Cease the activity that caused the injury immediately in order to protect the affected body part from additional injury.
Rest – Rest allows your body to focus on healing more effectively.
Ice – Apply cold packs to the injured area. Cold provides short-term pain relief and limits swelling. Apply cold packs for 15-20 minutes, up to 5 times per day.
Compression – Compression helps to limit swelling. Wrap a cloth bandage around the injured area or use a brace or support with high compression. Many drug stores and big retailers in their healthcare departments stock compression products, such as compression socks, sleeves, and braces. Make sure the brace is designed to accommodate your injured ankle, knee or wrist. Throbbing means the brace is too tight.
Elevation – Elevating the injured body part (if applicable) also reduces swelling. Raise the injured area above the level of the heart.
Heat can be helpful once the injury moves out of the acute phase and the swelling has stopped. Moist heat will increase blood supply to the damaged area and promote healing.
Even if P.R.I.C.E. has been effective in reducing swelling and pain, it is important to consult with your health care professional before resuming activity.