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You’ve most likely heard of the ‘RICE’ protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) for managing acute soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Now experts are suggesting we need to remove the ‘R’ (rest) and call on ‘POLICE’ instead. That is, replace the ‘R’ with ‘Protecting and Optimally Loading’ the injured site.
Initially, we believed that resting immediately after an injury gave it time to heal. The icing, compression and elevation assists in minimising excessive swelling. We do, however, know now that resting an injury for too long can in fact have a negative impact, leading to weakness, stiffness, or reduced proprioception i.e. sense of position in space for joints.
Studies have also shown that progressive loading and a functional rehabilitation program helps to strengthen and stimulate the healing process of a soft tissue such as a muscle, tendon or ligament, returning you to sport sooner.
So what might this entail? Protecting an injury may involve using a brace, support or walking aid so that you can participate in appropriate physical activities as early as possible. The exact amount of loading will depend on the area of injury, the type and the individual and your physio can determine what’s right for you.
To help you with any injury:
- Lane Cove Physio offers an Injury Clinic on Monday nights from 5pm-6:30pm where you can pop in for a quick assessment and we can advise you on whether or not further treatment is required and how long you can expect until recovery.
- The injury clinic is bulk billed for those who have private health insurance as a short consult.
- Please phone ahead to let us know you are coming.
Why is it so important to get my injury assessed?
- The risk of re-injury is extremely high in those who do not follow through with the appropriate rehabilitation.
- If you injure yourself, neglect to rehabilitate correctly and then re-injure yourself again, you can expect to be out of sport for anywhere up to double the amount of time you were initially.
Get it sorted the first time around and have a great season!
From your team at Lane Cove Physio
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