The new PEACE & LOVE acronym for running injuries

A runner dealing with running injuries and blog title

I thought I would share this acronym for running injuries because it contains some crucial importance. For years the RICE acronym was common knowledge for households but now in the 21st century, it is time for an update. It is a long one but encapsulates the entire recovery process. Firstly, the PEACE section represents the immediate management of 1-2 days (and sometimes not at all). Secondly, we have LOVE which represents subsequent management. So let’s breakdown this letter by letter.

The PEACE Acronym for running injuries

Firstly we have PROTECTION. This is particularly important for fractures & severe trauma to lower limb joints. For example, crutches, casting and joint braces as medically advised. Secondly, ELEVATION is required for a short period if inflammation is present to promote removal of fluid. Next, we have AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATION MODALITIES. There is no high-quality evidence to show benefits of icing of anti-inflammation medication and should be avoided. It has been shown that some medication can be detrimental to long term tissue healing and reduce load tolerance. The ‘C’ represents COMPRESSION which includes taping and bandaging if there is swelling within the joint itself. Lastly we have EDUCATION, a perfect opportunity for health professionals to impart their wisdom. The trick would be finding a professional that is proficient with your particular injury.

injured runner with foot bandaged

The LOVE Acronym for running injuries

The LOVE section represents the phase in healing beyond inflammation. And honestly, most running-related injuries can skip the PEACE section. So firstly we have LOAD. Which means as soon as symptoms allow, providing optimal loading to restore strength and promote healing. Next we have OPTIMISM. Your own beliefs around your injury has a huge impact on recovery. So ensure that any unhelpful false beliefs are addressed so the optimism for full recovery as addressed. Next is VASCULARISATION. In other words, triggering the aerobic system to promote blood flow. For example, as early as the body allows, implementing walking, cycling, swimming, or the cross-trainer while your body has recovered enough for running. Lastly we have EXERCISE, highlighting the importance of strength training for an optimal recovery.

promoting exercise with a heart lifting weights

In conclusion

The overall message is to promote physical activity and education. Importantly, working with a health professional to help determine what exercises you are ready for is a key step. Because in certain circumstances even exercising through low pain levels is still recommended. For more information on managing and interpreting pain, see the relevant blog posts below. For injury specific topics, head to relevant podcast episodes below.

Relevant blog posts

Relevant podcast episodes