RICE-to-PEACE-and-LOVE Jan15th 2021

Have you ever wondered if you should use ice or heat for pain or an injury? You may have heard of the acronym RICE in the past. An article published earlier this year adds some newer components to this well-known acronym. It is now recommended to use PEACE after a more recent injury and LOVE with an injury that occurred more than a few days ago.

Some areas that may need a bit more of an explanation…

Protection – Restrict movement for 1-3 days after an injury to decrease aggravation of the injury. 

Educate – Active approaches can be more effective than passive approaches like ice/ ultrasound/ manual therapy/ acupuncture/ medication use. Managing stress/ load on the tissues is more effective and decreases use of potentially unnecessary treatments. Education by health care professionals can help in this area to help set realistic expectations and give you the tools to manage your own symptoms. 

Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities Use of anti-inflammatories can inhibit inflammation. This may be obvious, but inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process. Medication use (especially for prolonged times) may impact long term healing. There is also mixed evidence for the use of ice for the same reasons even though it may help with pain. 

Compression – Use a compressive material to reduce swelling from the impacted area of the body

Education – Avoid unnecessary treatment and utilize active treatments whenever possible. Seek out our therapists at Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy if you have further questions on what you should be doing. Let us help you speed along the healing process and return to the things you love to do.

Load – Loading the tissues/ use of mechanical stresses should occur early and resume normal activities as soon as you can while minimizing pain. I usually recommend going up to the point of pain and backing off from there. 

Optimism – An optimistic attitude can lead to better outcomes and prognosis! 

Vascularization – Pain-free cardiovascular exercise can help to improve blood flow to healing areas and decrease fear and pain. Do not forget about the impact on mental health too! 

Exercise – Prevent recurrence of injury, but respect the pain. This can help with joint and muscle mobility, strength, balance, etc. as well.

Do you have more questions or an injury that continues to bother you? We find a mix of manual techniques and exercise are most beneficial in many cases. Call Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy today to schedule an initial evaluation or consult to see if physical therapy is right for you!


Dubois B, Esculier J. Soft-tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE. Br J Sports Med. 2020:54(2). 


Tags: , , , , ,