PRICE and avoid HARM

Acute injury management

 This advice should be followed for 3-5 days following a soft tissue injury.


When following PRICE it is also important to avoid HARM, hence the saying:

‘Give PRICE and avoid HARM

  • PROTECT – Protect the injured tissue from undue stress that may disrupt the healing process and/or cause further injury.
  • REST – This reduces the energy requirements of the area, avoids any unnecessary increase in blood flow, ensures protection of the area and optimises healing.
  • ICE – The ice helps constrict the blood vessels thereby limiting bleeding and reducing the accumulation of unnecessary scar tissue. Crushed ice wrapped in a damp towel (to prevent ice burn) is best (ice cubes can be wrapped in the cloth and smashed against a wall to crush the cubes). Ice should be applied immediately after injury for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours or no more than 5-10 minutes at a time on bony areas.
  • COMPRESSION – Simple off-the-shelf compression bandages such as Tubigrip™ and adjustable neoprene supports are adequate. It is important to ensure the bandages are not too tight to cause pins and needles or any loss of feeling around the joint.
  • ELEVATION – Lowers the blood pressure and helps limit bleeding and encourages drainage of fluid through the lymphatic system.


H – Heat (e.g. hot bath, sauna)

A – Alcohol

R – Running

M – Massage

Seek medical attention if your pain in uncontrolled and/or symptoms are not improving promptly.

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