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Br J Sports Med 46:220-221 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090297
  • Editorials

PRICE needs updating, should we call the POLICE?

Editor's Choice
  1. D C MacAuley4
  1. 1Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, UK
  2. 2Sports Institute of Northern Ireland, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, UK
  3. 3Association of Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine, London, UK
  4. 4UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI), Queens University Belfast, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to C M Bleakley, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT370QB, UK; chrisbleakley{at}hotmail.com
  • Accepted 3 August 2011
  • Published Online First 7 September 2011

The acronym PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) has been central to acute soft tissue injury management for many years despite a paucity of high-quality, empirical evidence to support the various components or as a collective treatment package. Treatment paradigms in sports medicine must be updated based on contemporary research evidence. As a recent example, the widespread use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in acute soft tissue injury management has been challenged, particularly with ligament and muscle injuries.1

Ice compression and elevation (ICE) is the basic principle of early treatment. Most research has focused on the analgesic effect of icing or the associated skin or intramuscular temperature changes; a recent randomised controlled trial by Prins and colleagues,2 which examined the effectiveness of ice on recovery from acute muscle tear, is the first of its kind. Clinical studies into compression are also lacking, and much of its rationale is extrapolated from research …