PRICE for soft tissue injuries

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The PRICE method has a vital role in reducing the swelling and pain. It is important to note that once damage occurs to the soft tissues, the blood vessels might rupture within the muscle and there is internal bleeding.

Close look on the PRICE method


Protection is the initial component of the PRICE method. This is essential in preventing further damage and allow the healing process to start. There are various ways to protect the injury with the objective of limiting further movement and use of the joint, ligament, muscle or tendon. This is usually achieved with a splint or support.

PRICE for soft tissue injuries
Cold therapy is a widely-used treatment option for acute sports injuries. The application of an ice pack is usually done in the acute phase to reduce the extent of the damage.


During the initial phases, rest is a vital component of the PRICE method but it is often ignored. The individual should know when to discontinue activity or training and allow the affected area to recuperate otherwise recurring minor injuries can lead to severe injury.

Remember that there are various degrees of rest that depends on the severity of the injury and type of tissue that is damaged.


Cold therapy is a widely-used treatment option for acute sports injuries. The application of an ice pack is usually done in the acute phase to reduce the extent of the damage. Cold can provide the following:

  • Reduces the amount of bleeding through vasoconstriction of the blood vessels
  • Reducing the pain or discomfort
  • Minimizing the muscle spasms
  • Reduce the risk for cell death by slowing down the rate of metabolism

Before an ice pack is applied, you should place a damp towel that serves as a barrier between the pack and the skin.


Compression that is placed on the injured area works by reducing the amount of swelling after an injury. It should be applied during the initial 24-72 hours from the time of the injury.

  • The initial approach is compressing the affected limb to increase the pressure inside the tissues, thus constricting the blood vessels and preventing excess bleeding.
  • The second approach is controlling the amount of fluid produced by the body to protect the damaged tissue.

Compression can be applied using various methods. The most effective is using a compression bandage that fits around the affected limb. The advantage of this bandage is it is easy to apply and provides enough pressure to stop the bleeding.


Elevation of the injured limb is the final approach but it is equally vital with the other measures. This allows gravity to drain the fluid away from the affected site. It also helps reduce the swelling to decrease the pain linked with swelling.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on the PRICE method is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to how to properly provide the PRICE method, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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