Acute injuries are often seen in sports or exercise and are commonly caused by the result of repetitive overuse, or a sudden traumatic event such as a direct impact. 

These injuries can occur when an applied force exceeds the tolerance of the affected soft tissue (such as muscles, tendons and ligaments) and are characterised by their rapid onset and typically result in pain and swelling in the localised region.

Common Acute Injuries

Acute injuries commonly we commonly treat can include:

  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle and/or tendon strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Fractures

How to Treat Acute Injuries

In the past, the R.I.C.E. protocol has been used as a reasonable intervention to reduce short-term pain in the initial 48-72 hours. However, it fails to address the sub-acute phase following the initial few days post-injury.

More recently, the two acronyms P.E.A.C.E. and L.O.V.E. were proposed by Dubois & Esculier (2019) as a means to optimise soft tissue recovery.

This protocol addresses both the immediate care of an acute injury (PEACE), as well as its subsequent management (LOVE).

How to Treat Acute Injuries

P.E.A.C.E. & L.O.V.E.

P = Protect
Avoid activities/movements which aggravate symptoms.

E = Elevate
Elevate the affected region higher than your heart if possible.

A = Avoid Anti-inflammatory Modalities
Inhibiting inflammation through medications may negatively affect long-term tissue healing.

C = Compress
Applying compression helps to reduce swelling.

E = Educate
This includes education of the condition, as well as load management and a more active approach to recovery.

L = Load
Let pain guide your gradual return to normal activities, they should continue as soon as symptoms allow.

O = Optimism
Stay realistic, but encourage optimism as the brain plays a significant part in rehabilitation interventions.

V = Vascularisation
Choose pain-free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow.

E = Exercise
Restore mobility, strength and proprioception by adopting an active approach to recovery.

We love the way this simple phrase sums up how to treat acute injuries! 


If you’re unsure how to proceed with your injury, it’s important to seek a health care provider who can guide you back on track to doing the things you love.

Get in touch with our team at Fortitude Chiropractic on (08) 6184 8835 or book online today to find out how to manage your injury.

How to Treat Acute Injuries

Dubois & Esculier (2019) PMID: 3137772

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