Acute Injury Management

Immediate Treatment - What can you do?
The acute advice that is recommended by the ACPSM (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine) is to use the PRICE regime for 72 hours.

  • PROTECT: The injured site needs to be supported with strapping and/or taping to prevent further damage.
  • REST(active): Reduce the use of the injured area. You can still use other areas of your body e.g. if you have injured your knee and you are mobile with crutches you can still go to work after the first 3 days.
  • ICE: Apply ice over the injured area (do not completely surround joints) for 20 minutes every 2 hours. REMEMBER do not place the ice directly onto the skin, place a piece of damp kitchen towel (or similar) over the area first.
  • COMPRESSION: Use a bandage (or tea towel) to wrap around the ice and hold it in place for the 20 minutes. Do the bandage up firmly so that the ice is 'pushed' gently onto the injured area.
  • ELEVATION: The injured area should be elevated for 20 minutes every 2 hours but NOT at the same time as carrying out the ice+compression. Elevation means the injured area should be higher than the level of the heart. This reduces the blood flow to the injured area and therefore reduces the amount of swelling.

How long do you keep this going?
For 72 hours.

Do you still need to see a medical practitioner?
If the pain and swelling has not decreased at all then you need to seek medical advice.

Who should you see?
Either your GP or a Physiotherapist. Physiotherapists spend much time treating soft tissue injuries, in the hospital, in their own practices and working 'pitchside' for teams and athletes. They are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of these types of injury.