In part 1 of this blog series, we addressed immediate care after an acute soft tissue injury using the acronym PEACE! You can read part 1 of this blog series HERE
P – Protect the injury to avoid re-aggravation
E- Elevate to help with drainage of unhelpful fluid
A – Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities (we need some inflammation for healing to occur)
C – Compression can help
E – Educate on active recovery – Move the area early!
The next step, a few days after the injury and when the acute stage has passed is to give the injury some L-O-V-E!
L IS FOR LOAD:
An active approach with movement and exercise benefits most patients with musculoskeletal pain or injury.
Load through light mechanical stress should be added early and normal activities of daily living ie: walking, dressing, cleaning, shower etc should be resumed as soon as symptoms allow.
REST in this instance is NOT BEST and will definitely delay recovery.
Optimal loading without exacerbating pain promotes repair, re-modelling and builds tissue tolerance and the
capacity of tendons, muscles and ligaments.
O IS FOR OPTIMISM:
The BJSM quotes that “Optimistic patient expectations are associated with better outcomes and prognosis.” What does this actually mean!?!
Basically, the more a patient believes they are capable of healing and the quicker a patient believes they are capable of healing – the quicker they will heal! Mind blowing stuff right!?
My job as osteopath it is our job to give you an educated time frame of how long it will be until you start to feel yourself again, and how quickly you can return to activities you enjoy.
Your job as a patient is to believe you are capable of healing, listen and apply management strategies that have been set for you and trust the process and the magic healing power of your body!
Psychological factors such as catastrophisation, depression and fear can represent barriers to recovery.
So if you have strong negative emotions and beliefs about your healing and your symptoms you are more likely to stay in pain for longer!
Beliefs and emotions are thought to explain more of the variation in symptoms following an ankle sprain between patients than the degree of pathophysiology!!
This means your thoughts and emotions about your injury is actually more powerful than the degree of damage done during your injury!
As a patient this is extremely powerful stuff so THINK POSITIVE!
V IS FOR VASCULARISATION:
The BJSM suggest that cardiovascular activity is “a cornerstone in the management of musculoskeletal injuries”. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself after injuring is get your body moving and get your heart pumping!
While research is needed on particular dosage, pain-free aerobic exercise should be started a few days after injury to boost motivation and increase blood flow to the injured structures.
Getting your injured body part moving and mobilizing as well as doing aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping blood around your body will improve physical function, support return to work and reduce the need for pain medication in the future.
E IS FOR EXERCISE:
There is a strong level of evidence supporting the use of exercise for the treatment of and reducing the prevalence of recurrent injuries.
The BJSM find that “exercises help to restore mobility, strength and proprioception early after injury” and clinicians should use pain as a guide to progress exercise complexity, difficulty and load in the sub-acute phase.
Managing soft-tissue injuries is more than short-term damage control, we should aim to build strength, stability and mobility in the injured sight and exceed the previous markers of strength post rehabilitation.
As always exercise should be specific to the person with the injury and treat the person we have in front of us taking into account other bio-mechanical factors that could have caused the injury to occur!
We hope this blog series on PEACE & LOVE for acute injuries has helped you understand how to manage an injury when it occurs and what to use/avoid for a speedy recovery!
Any questions, comments or queries?
Book an online telehealth appointment with one of our osteopaths so that they can guide you through this process post injury and help you make a plan to get back to doing the things you love.