“P.R.I.C.E” Therapy

If you caught my last blog or saw the article in the Niagara Falls Review you might have seen this card sitting in the picture in the background.

PRICE TherapyA big THANK YOU to our patients of Niagara, co-workers, colleagues and suppliers who signed this lovely custom Serious Sparrow card that we had made for Mikes retirement.

As Mike sits there, feet up, prescription pad in his pocket, drinking his beloved espresso, it reads “Podiatrists Advised Long Term P.R.I.C.E Therapy”.  However that led to many of you upon reading the card asking what “P.R.I.C.E” therapy actually is.

P.R.I.C.E is an acronym we use, often in the treatment of sports injuries, though the concept is useful in considering how we approach many foot problems.

The p stands for ‘protection’.  It makes sense, right? – if you have a painful foot, it needs protecting in order to facilitate it healing up.  Protection can mean changes to footwear, the introduction of splints, application of bandaging or tapes or many other forms of ‘protection’.  Low-dye strapping in the treatment of plantar fasciitis or heel spurs may be considered ‘protection’.  Protection is commonplace in many other treatments including the treatment of corns and hard skin or the management of ingrown nails.

The r stands for ‘rest’.  Things heal quicker if you rest them.  Identifying aggravating activities can be helpful.  Targeting your rest to include the avoidance of aggravating activities is an important part of this type of therapy.  Long-term you may wear custom othoses to permanently off-load stressed tissues – this is called orthotic tissue stress theory.

The i stands for ‘ice’.  You may be advised by your foot specialist/chiropodist to use ice packs at specified intervals.  Never apply ice directly to your skin.

The c stands for ‘compression’.  An acute injury stimulates an inflammatory response.  This in turn can lead to edema and sometimes very visible swelling. Compression is sometimes applied to control swelling.

People are sometimes familiar with ‘compression socks’.  These are different forms of medically prescribed compression hose because of problems such as chronic swelling (edema) or varicose veins.  We are fitters of medical grade We are fitters of medical grade compression socks.

The e stands for ‘elevation’.  Elevating an injury is a sure fire way to help protect injury, encourage its rest, whilst facilitating the drainage of swelling.  Pain is usually reduced in an elevated injury.  Elevation is often recommended in the initial stages following minor surgery.

And so there you have it.  A play on words. “P.R.I.C.E” means protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.  However, as in the case of our retirement card earlier “Perfect Retirement In Contented Enjoyment”.  Enjoy the golf courses Mike!

 Stuart Berry BSc (Hons) Pod Chiropodist / Foot Specialist.     April 22, 2015

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