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Management of Soft Tissue Injuries – Moving from RICE to PEACE and LOVE

Management of Soft Tissue Injuries | UPMC Ireland

By Eileen Foyle, Chartered Physiotherapist, UPMC Sports Medicine Clinic, Mardyke Arena, UCC.

The acronym of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is commonly used to manage soft tissue injuries of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, but is slightly outdated. We now know that a more proactive approach and an approach that includes the subacute and chronic stages of tissue healing are required.

Two new acronyms were proposed in 2019 – PEACE and LOVE – which includes a more holistic and long-term approach to soft tissue injury management.


Immediately after a soft tissue injury, do no harm and let PEACE guide your approach.

P – Protect

  • Restrict movement but minimise total rest – let pain guide your activity levels.

E – Elevate

  • Elevate the injured limb higher than the heart.

A – Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities

  • The inflammatory process is a natural part of healing and should be allowed to take place.

C – Compress

  • Compress the affected injury site with a bandage or taping.

E – Educate

  • Education regarding the injury, the importance of active recovery, and recovery time frames are important for managing patient expectations.


After the first days have passed, soft tissues need LOVE.

L – Load

  • Loading the injury site early, as symptoms allow is important for tissue healing and strength.
  • Normal activities should resume as soon as pain allows.

O – Optimism

  • The brain plays a significant role in rehabilitation. Realism is important but also optimism improves the chances of optimal recovery.

V – Vascularisation

  • Pain-free cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, cycling, and walking increases blood flow and healing soft tissue injuries.

E – Exercise

  • Exercise is important for restoring mobility, strength, and proprioception in the affected area as well as reducing the chances of re-injury.

Contact our team of physiotherapists at UPMC for expertise on the management of soft tissue injuries and a gradual return to activity.

Learn more about Physiotherapy Services at UPMC and schedule an appointment today. No GP referral required. Our UPMC Sports Medicine clinics are located in Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Tipperary, and Mayo.