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What do I do for a soft tissue injury?

Most of us have experienced a soft tissue injury (ie, muscle strain) at one stage or another throughout our lives – whether it’s during a football game, during your morning walk or even hanging out the washing. Typically, we’d follow the ‘RICE’ (rest, ice, compression, elevation) protocol as our first point of call.

However, the more appropriate protocol is now ‘PEACE & LOVE’. It focusses on improving recovery by educating and acknowledging other factors (eg, psychological and sociological) that can impact on recovery:

The acronym stands for:

  • P – protection (avoid activities that increase pain in the first few days after injury)
  • E – elevate the injured limb
  • A – avoid anti-inflammatories (they reduce healing)
  • C – compression (helps manage swelling)
  • E – educate about avoidance of unnecessary treatments and medical investigations


  • L – load (gradually returning to normal activities by listening to your symptoms)
  • O – optimism (be confident and positive about recovery)
  • V – vascularisation (increase blood flow to injured areas by doing pain-free cardio)
  • E – exercise (restore mobility, strength and balance through completion of rehab exercises)

So next time, rather than ‘RICE’ your injury, show it some ‘PEACE & LOVE’!