The PRICE Protocol

PRICE stands for: Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.

  • Protect – protect the affected area from further injury by using a support or, in the case of an ankle injury, wearing shoes that enclose and support your feet, such as lace-ups.
  • Rest – stop the activity that caused the injury and rest the affected joint or muscle. Avoid activity for the first 48 to 72 hours after injuring yourself. Your GP may recommend you use crutches.
  • Ice – for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury; apply ice wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the day. Don’t leave the ice on while you’re asleep, and don’t allow the ice to touch your skin directly because it could cause a cold burn.
  • Compression – compress or bandage the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further. You can use a simple elastic bandage or an elasticated tubular bandage available from a pharmacy. It should be wrapped snuggly around the affected area, but not so tightly that it restricts blood flow. Remove the bandage before you go to sleep.
  • Elevation – keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling. If your leg is injured, avoid long periods of time where your leg isn’t raised.

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