Many sports injuries can be treated safely at home using the P.R.I.C.E. principle and should be used for the first 48-72 hours immediately after the injury to help control the amount of swelling, prevent further injury and reduce pain. The acronym stands for
Rest. Allow the body's own healing processes to naturally occur without being impeded by movement of the injured area. Any increase in movement of an injured tissue results in increased circulation to the area which can lead to further damage to the injured tissue and/or increased swelling.
Ice. Ice or ice packs should be placed on the injury. A light cloth barrier should be placed between the skin and the ice bag to prevent injury to the skin and can be secured with an elastic bandage. The ice should be applied for 15 minutes at a time and can be repeated several times a day.
Compression. When the ice pack is removed, a compression or elastic wrap should be applied to the injured area. It serves as a mechanical barrier so that swelling is minimized in the injured area.
Elevation. Elevation is important immediately following an injury to reduce the amount of blood flow to the injured area. The injured area should be above the heart level.