POLICE:  An updated approach to Acute Injury Management
The acronym of RICER has long been the central principle for acute injury management over many years. However, RICER, which stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral has recently been changed in accordance to recent research within the sports medicine space.
POLICE which stands for protect, optimal loading, ice, compression and elevation has recently been accepted as the updated approach to guide acute injury management. So lets break it down shall we:
Protect – Protection and rest of the injured muscle or ligament are imperative for an acute injury. However rest should be of limited duration and restricted to immediately after the trauma because longer periods of rest can be harmful.
Optimal Loading – Optimal loading means replacing rest with a balanced increase of rehabilitation. Typically this means that with early activity comes an earlier recovery. To give you an example when someone suffers a hamstring strain, it is not uncommon for people to start running at a moderate speed early in there rehabilitation.
Ice – Ice is a really excellent way to reduce your pain. Ice should be applied directly after the trauma and should be applied for approximately 20 minutes.
Compression – Using a compression stocking or some Tubigrip is an excellent tool to combat the swelling which occurs after an injury. Compression stockings should be worn during the day or when on your feet but should be taken off when going to sleep. Tape is also an excellent tool to use to compress an acute injury.
Elevation – Elevation is another important element to control any swelling which occurs after an acute injury. Try to keep the injured body part above or at the height of your heart if possible.
If you have any question in regards to acute injury management or require a comprehensive assessment for an acute injury please feel free to ring us here in the clinic.
Chris Pearson
Physiotherapist Physiologic