The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has devised a set of guidelines for the treatment of injuries to the body’s soft tissue, known as the P.R.I.C.E. guidelines (for more details, click here).

Injury to the soft tissue of the body is a major cause of pain and disability, and this clinical guideline sets out recommendations for treatment during the first 72 hours after an incident takes place.

P.R.I.C.E. is an acronym which stands for:

PROTECTION
Protect from further injury (e.g. by using a support, or high-top lace-up shoes).

REST
Avoid activity for the first 48–72 hours following injury and consider the use of crutches.

ICE
Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel for 15–20 minutes every 2–3 hours during the day for the first 48–72 hours following the injury. Do not leave ice on while asleep.

COMPRESSION
Compress the injury with a simple elastic bandage or elasticated tubular bandage, which should be snug, but not tight. Remove before going to sleep.

ELEVATION
Rest with the leg elevated and supported on a pillow until the swelling is controlled. Avoid prolonged periods without the leg elevated.

Any injury should be assessed immediately to ascertain its severity, and provide the appropriate management to ensure a more complete recovery of function.


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