Active Healing Centre

Acute Sports Injuries

Sudden pain

When you’ve sustained an acute sports injury, there is usually some cell damage to the ligament (sprain) or tendon or muscle (strain) and inflammation.  Regardless of the type of injury sustained, the basic principles of treatment still apply.  You’ve heard of the injury treatment acronym RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation), but there is also PIER (Pressure, Ice, Elevation, Rest), a similarly effective program of care.


Pressure: uses a compression bandage to increase the pressure outside the blood vessels that have been injured to minimize inflammation and swelling
Ice: decreases blood flow to the injury. Ice is also used as an analgesic to reduce pain from the injury and reducing muscle spasm
Elevation: reduces blood flow to the injured area and promotes blood return to the heart, thereby reducing swelling
Rest: is used to minimize blood flow to the injured tissue allowing the heart rate to slow down and minimize swelling

Each principle should be applied, to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Resource: Sports Medicine Advisor (Volume 2)