Avoid HARM when it comes to injury

Acute injuries can happen to anyone at any time and can have a significant impact on our lives. Whether it’s a sprained ankle, a muscle strain, or a broken bone, it’s important to manage the injury properly in order to ensure a full recovery. One method of initial acute injury management that is often used in physiotherapy is the HARM acronym, which stands for Heat, Alcohol, Running, and Massage.


Heat is a common method used to relieve pain and stiffness in the body. However, applying heat to an acute injury can actually make the swelling and inflammation worse. This is because heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can increase blood flow and exacerbate the swelling.


Alcohol can also have a negative effect on the healing process. It can interfere with the body’s ability to repair damaged tissue and can also increase the risk of further injury.


Running or any other high-impact exercise should be avoided during the initial stages of injury management. This is because it can put additional stress on the injured area, which can delay the healing process and potentially cause further damage.


Massage also be avoided during the initial stages of injury management if instructed by your physiotherapist. While massage can be beneficial for reducing muscle tension and improving circulation, it can also increase the risk of further damage and inflammation in an acute injury.

The HARM acronym is an important tool in acute injury management. By avoiding heat, alcohol, running, and massage during the initial stages of injury management, we can help ensure a full and speedy recovery. It’s important to remember that every injury is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re ever unsure about the best course of action for an acute injury, it’s always best to consult with your Lifecare Willetton Physiotherapist