Soft Tissue Injuries

Are you treating your soft tissue injuries with PEACE & LOVE?

In the past, you may have seen the acronym RICE when dealing with new soft tissue injuries Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation or PRICE adding the P for Protection. Further along from PRICE, our understanding evolved into POLICE as research started to show the vital importance of optimal loading for recovery following an injury.

 Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Now thanks to the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) and clinicians such as Blaise Dubois and Jean-Francois Esculier we have a more robust, holistic, and evidence-based framework of what to do in the first 72 hours after a soft tissue injury. Give your body PEACE & LOVE after an injury.

What does the acronym for PEACE & LOVE stand for when treating Soft Tissue Injuries?

P– PROTECTION- Avoid Activities and Movements that aggravate your injury in the first 1-3 days after it occurs. Let pain guide your movements. This is not “No pain, No Gain” it’s a “KNOW your pain and GAIN” type thing.

E-ELEVATE – Elevate your limb higher than your heart. This is one of the best things you can do to aid in swelling. As it promotes the flow of interstitial fluid.

A– AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MODALITIES – Inflammation is a natural occurrence during the first few days after injury and there are various crucial phases of inflammation that contribute to soft tissue healing. During this time avoid using anti-inflammatory modalities and ice for swelling. They may help with pain in the short term(numbing) but may hinder healing in the long term. There is NO High-Quality Research showing the efficacy of ice for treating soft tissue injuries.

C– COMPRESS – Compression with taping or bandages can assist in limiting swelling and thus improve quality of life.

E– EDUCATION- Trust your body, it knows best. Educate yourself it’s important to talk to a professional that you trust about simple self-management strategies.


L– LOAD – Optimal loading is an important part of recovery following soft tissue injuries. Early appropriate loading helps to reduce pain, remodel, and build tissue capacity. This is where your trusted health professional may come in handy to help advise.

O– OPTIMISM- The Brain/nervous system run the show, don’t forget that. Being confident and positive about your recovery can help to improve recovery after injury. Stay in the moment and trust the process.

V-VASCULARISATION– It is important to introduce an appropriate pain-tolerated physical activity that includes cardiovascular components into your recovery. Early movement and aerobic activity help to improve function and pain levels. This is a cornerstone to recovery and will increase blood flow to repairing tissues.

E– EXERCISE- Restore mobility, strength, and proprioception by integrating an active approach to your recovery. Pain should be used as a guide for progressing exercises. This is a “START EASY, BUILD SLOWLY” situation, where you have to “KNOW YOUR PAIN AND GAIN”. People often mistakenly progress too quickly.

Information Adapted from: Dubois B, Esculier J Soft-tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020;54:72-73.

Please feel free to book a consult with us at Rebound Sport and Spine if you have any questions/concerns/limitations. We are all wonderfully unique with our own rituals.

Shawn Swartz, PT