A lot of people come to our practice and ask us what they can do at home to help certain injuries heal faster? – The magic word here is “PRICE MM”. In this blog we will explain to you what’s behind those letters, and why they can have a very positive impact on your healing process.
PRICE MM is an acronym that stands for Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And the two MMs stand for Modalities and Medication. This is the type of home care that can help certain injuries either when they happen or after a doctor has sent the patient home after treatment.
Post these instructions where you keep your medicines or program them into your smartphone. If someone in your family does get injured at a game or elsewhere, you will know exactly what to do. Of course you should seek emergency medical care if you are in doubt about what’s going on with an injury.
Let’s dive a bit more into PRICE MM and see what exactly hides behind these important letters;
Protect the area of the injury with a cast, brace or sling as necessary. Again, a doctor needs to attend to the injured area first to make the assessment.
Limit the use of the injured area. Severe injuries may require complete rest, but less severe may allow rehabilitation and cross-training.
Ice is applied to the injured area for twenty minutes or less to decrease inflammation. This may be done during the first 72 hours of an acute injury. Ice is usually recommended about three or more times a day, but don’t overdo the time that the ice is applied to the limb. Ice should not be applied directly onto the skin, or you can risk frostbite.
Compression will help limit the amount of inflammation to the injured area. Compression is used to reduce the swelling that results from injury and inflammation. An elastic bandage (ACE bandage) is commonly used. The fit should be snug so the limb doesn’t move freely yet allows blood flow.
Elevation helps increase blood return to the heart. This will help decrease swelling. So if the injury is a foot, lie on the couch and prop up on the arm of the couch with pillows. An injured arm can be elevated on top of several pillows for someone lying down.
Ice, heat, ultrasound, phonophoresis, and iontophoresis. These techniques are usually applied by a physical therapist or an athletic trainer to help decrease swelling and pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories medications can be used to help limit swelling and pain. They can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription. An example of this medication is ibuprofen.
In general, if the athlete becomes pain free on this PRICE MM program, a trial return to sports may begin with the doctor’s release. If the symptoms return, consult with your doctor again. Surgery might have to be considered.