Wednesday, May 16, 2012

POLICE - Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Traditionally the initial treatment of a sports injury involved following the ‘RICE’ principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). This then evolved into ‘PRICE’, with the addition of ‘Protection’ to ensure maximum welfare in the immediate aftermath of the injury. Reviews of the available research have questioned the relevance of ‘Rest’ in injury management, highlighting the treatment benefits of the earliest possible mobilisation of the injured area1.
Calf Pain - Compression Treatment of Calf Pain and Strain By providing uniform compression an Active650 compression support can help in the acute injury phase. The general recommendations are that compression and ice should be alternated in the immediate hours following injury in order to minimise bleeding at the injury site2. The benefit of an Active650 sports compression support at this stage is not only its superior compression but also its comfort. Once in place it will not move and the high level of elasticity means that there is no tourniquet effect and no digging in or pinching of sensitive and painful areas of injury.
Patella Tendonitis - Stop Knee Pain - Treat Knee Pain Current best practice retains the “ICE” component of injury management but evolves the mnemonic to aid the recovery from the injury by replacing “Rest” with “Optimal Loading” to form POLICE3. What this means is that rather than sitting on the sofa waiting for Mother Nature to heal us, recovery can be sped up by getting the injury area moving. This movement and mobilisation helps the recovery at the cellular level as it repairs1 and also helps to prevent muscle wastage and shortening.
As with anything in life though, there is a balance to be struck. If you mobilise the area too soon or put too much load on it, re-injury can cause further, more serious, damage. Hence the inclusion of the word “optimal”. In this sense “optimal loading” is a bit of a holy grail for rehabilitation as it is impossible to tell what an injury’s limit is until the limit has been passed – which is obviously a very bad thing! The key is to mobilise and load the injury in a controlled manner, within the limits of pain.

Knee Pain - Running with Knee Pain Previously, supports, braces, crutches and suchlike have all been prescribed and associated with immobilising the injury area. However, with the change of focus towards getting the injury site moving they can now all be viewed as aids to help mobilise the injury area and speed up the recovery process. So if supports are now being recommended to help rehabilitate the injury earlier, what better way to provide this support than with the technology that an Active650 offers?
Whilst conventional neoprene and velcro supports are uncomfortable and restrictive an Active650 compression support provides support, compression and comfort without restricting movement, thus aiding rehabilitation by facilitating optimal loading.
For top quality support whilst allowing a full range of mobilisation: Active650. Every Muscle, Every Body!
Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

1) Khan K.M. and Scott A. (2009) Mechanotherapy: how physical therapists’ prescription of exercise promotes tissue repair. British Journal of Sports Medicine 43(4); 247-251
2) Jarvinen T.A., Jarvinen T.J., Kaariainen M. et al. (2007) Muscle injuries: optimising recovery. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology 21(2); 317-331
3) Bleakley C.M., Glasgow P. and MacAuley D.C. (2012) PRICE needs updating, should we call the POLICE? British Journal of Sports Medicine 46; 220-221