POLICE Principle

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Police Principle is a modern/modified first aid method of treating musculoskeletal injuries. Traditionally, the first aid method of treating musculoskeletal injuries has been taught through the Mnemonic, R.I.C.E, (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.) and P.R.I.C.E (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate).

POLICE is an acronym that stands for protection, optimal loading, ice compression, and elevation. It promotes and guides safe and effective loading in acute soft tissue injury management.

Protection[edit | edit source]

Protect emphasizes the importance of avoiding further tissue damage, but doesn’t imply indefinite immobilization. This could mean using crutches to protect an injured lower extremity, while actively engaging in daily tasks. Protect could represent the appropriate amounts of rest to heal the injury as well.[1]

Optimal Loading[edit | edit source]

Optimal loading will stimulate the healing process as bone, tendon, ligament, and muscle all require some loading to stimulate healing. Optimal loading is done by utilizing mechano-therapy intervention and includes a wide range of manual techniques currently available. “Paradoxically, crutches, braces, and supports, traditionally associated with rest, may have a greater role in adjusting and regulating optimal loading in the early stages of rehabilitation.”[1]

The right amount of activity can help to manage oedema. For example in the ankle, contraction of the calf muscles helps to move swelling up the body against gravity. Complete rest would prevent this. In some instances, loading may not be necessary i.e. in severe fractures that need surgery.[2]

Ice - Compression - Elevation (ICE)[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bleakley CM, Glasgow P, MacAuley DC. PRICE needs updating, should we call the POLICE? British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012; 4(4):220-221.
  2. Glasgow P, Phillips N, Bleakley C. Optimal loading: key variables and mechanisms. British journal of sports medicine. 2015; 49(5):278-279.