Acute injury management

It can be argued that the most important period in terms of minimising the effects of an injury, and helping to make the rehabilitation process easier, is how that injury is managed in the first 48 hours.

Things TO DO – the PRICE principle:


  • Protection – immobilize injury wherever possible, this may include the use of crutches, slings or a brace
  • Rest – as guided by your physiotherapist
  • Ice – treat 20 minutes every two hours with an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel to avoid burn
  • Compression – with strapping or tubi-grip, DO NOT wear compression over night
  • Elevation – keep injured area above the level of your heart wherever possible

Things NOT TO DO – the AAA principle:

Alcohol – DO NOT drink alcohol, it thins the blood and increases bleeding, thus making an injury WORSE

Activity – DO NOT use an injured limb unnecessarily, it increases blood flow and could increase bleeding, thus making an injury WORSE

Assessment – DO NOT hesitate to seek the advice of an appropriately qualified physiotherapist who can provide further information about how to manage your injury. Only take medicines if prescribed and do NOT exceed stated dose

If you are in any doubt as to the diagnosis or severity of an injury you should seek further advice from a qualified health professional.

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