In April 2019, The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a blog proposing the management of acute sports injuries as follows:
Unload the area for the first 3 days. That means let pain be your guide- if it hurts don’t do it. But keep the rest of yourself moving as best you can.
Raise the injured limb higher than your heart. This helps the interstitial fluid drain with gravity. Although the evidence is weak, elevation is a low risk thing you can do which might help your body heal.
3. Avoid Anti-inflammatories
Anti-inflammatories do help pain and improve function in the short term. So why not take them? Well, they may be detrimental to long term healing of the tissues. Same goes with using an ice pack. There is no high quality evidence that ice packs help the healing process and the suggestion is that the inflammation process after an injury is a part of the healing process. Although, ice packs do help for pain relief.
External mechanical pressure (bandage, taping, compression garment) helps to limit edema within the joint and limits hemorrhage within the tissues.
Be active in your recovery. Knowing about your injury and understanding load management will help you in the long run. Realistic expectations, consistency and a well-constructed recovery plan are recommended over a magic fix approach.
For acute injuries, consider if the PEACE approach is for you!
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