Ever heard of the P.R.I.C.E acronym?
How about H.A.R.M?
Commit these 2 simple words to your memory and you'll be effectively self-managing the initial stages of an acute muscle injury.
Let's take a look at what they mean and which one applies to which stage of the healing process.
First 72 hours after injury:
Protection Rest Ice Compression Elevation
Heat Alcohol Run (exercise) Massage
Heat is a 'vasodilator' which will increase blood flow to an injured area, especially torn muscle, increasing the volume of bruising and swelling in the area. Not desired!
An ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) can work wonders in reducing inflammation.
Always wrap the ice pack in a damp cloth and don't leave on the skin for more than 20-30mins at a time to avoid ice burn.