How 'PEACE and LOVE' improves injury recovery (It's not what you might think)
Dr. Chris Daily
PT | DPT | OCS | CSCS
Physical Therapist and Golf Performance Specialist
The 'PEACE and LOVE' method, introduced in a 2020 editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, offers a more holistic approach to injury recovery, particularly beneficial for individuals over 50.
This method is a shift from the traditional RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method, focusing on both immediate and long-term injury management. Here's how it works:
Short-term recovery management: PEACE
- Protection (P): Immediate protection of the injured area is crucial to minimize further damage. This may involve using support or avoiding activities that increase pain for the first few days after injury.
- Elevation (E): Elevating the injured area above the heart as much as possible helps reduce swelling by encouraging blood flow.
- Avoiding anti-inflammatories (A): In contrast to the RICE method, which often includes the use of anti-inflammatory medications, the PEACE approach recommends avoiding them. Research suggests that these medications can intrude on the natural healing process of tissues.
- Compression (C): Compression with a bandage or taping helps reduce swelling and provides support to the injured area.
- Education (E): Educating patients on the nature of their injury and the recovery process is so important. Understanding the healing process can reduce reliance on useless treatments and promote active recovery.
Long-term recovery management: LOVE
- Load (L): Gradually reintroducing mechanical stress, such as weight-bearing and movement exercises, is essential. It helps in rebuilding the strength and function of the injured tissue without overloading it too much.
- Optimism (O): A positive mindset can significantly impact recovery. Optimism has been linked to better pain outcomes and more effective rehab and recovery.
- Vascularization (V): Encouraging blood flow to the injured area is key. Activities like walking or cycling, which increase heart rate, promote healing by delivering nutrients and oxygen to the site of injury.
- Exercise (E): Tailored exercises are recommended to restore mobility, strength, and function. This step is vital for long-term recovery and for preventing injuries in the future.