P.R.I.C.E. Recovery Formula
To speed up recovery from an injury such as a strain or sprain (or from an overuse injury like tendinitis), apply “PRICE” for the first 24-72 hours after injury:
It is important to prevent further injury by supporting the injured area with some sort of protection. For example, a splint can immobilize a sprained ankle, wrist or finger. Crutches help keep you from putting weight on an injured foot, ankle, knee or leg. If you’re far from help and don’t have protection devices handy, you may need to get creative. (Make an arm sling with a scarf, tape an injured finger or toe to one next to it, immobilize a leg with a couple ski poles and rope.)
Continuing to use the injured part of your body before it has healed properly can worsen an injury. So rest up. Resting also minimizes bleeding and swelling and is particularly important if you have tendinitis caused by overuse of a joint.
Apply an ice pack for 10-15 minutes every hour you are awake for the first two days following the injury. This keeps swelling down, numbs pain and reduces muscle spasm. It is important to use a towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin to avoid skin damage.
Compression often helps reduce pain and swelling caused by an injury to an arm, leg, hand or foot. Use an elastic (ACE) bandage to wrap the area firmly enough to provide support but be careful not to apply it so tightly that blood flow to the area is restricted. If fingers or toes start turning blue, loosen it up!
Elevate your injured area above the level of the heart. This helps to minimize swelling by preventing blood and fluid from pooling in the injured area.