Health & Wellness

Have a Sports Injury? Try RICE


Whether you’re a weekend warrior or member of a competitive team, injuries can be part of the game. Find out what to do if you have a sports injury.

Runner touching painful twisted or broken ankle. Athlete runner training accident. Sport running ankle sprain.

Staying active is key to lifelong wellness. So, the last thing you want is an injury slowing you down. Whether you are a morning runner with a knee strain, a pickleball player with a sore elbow or a soccer star with a twisted ankle, RICE therapy is a great first treatment step.

RICE is a catchy acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When started soon after a sprain or strain, this therapeutic treatment is the perfect way to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Let’s take a closer look at some tips for using RICE therapy most effectively.

Rest
After an injury it’s important to rest to prevent further damage. The injured area should be protected, but don’t use this as an excuse to be inactive. Complete inactivity can lead to decreased strength and mobility.

Ice
Icing an injury can help reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. Apply ice for 20 minute periods every couple of hours. To prevent skin damage be sure to always wrap the ice in a towel before application.

Compression
Using an Ace bandage, brace or tape can help immobilize and protect the injured area. It will also reduce swelling. Just be careful to not make your compression too tight, which can hinder blood circulation.

Elevation
Elevate the injured area above the heart as much as possible. Gravity will allow the excess fluid to drain from the area and reduce swelling.

RICE Not Working?

What should you do if you’ve been faithfully performing RICE therapy and you still have pain? Roper St. Francis sports medicine doctors recommend seeing a specialist if after four days you continue to have issues.

You don’t need a referral to see one of Roper St. Francis’ board certified orthopedists, simply request an appointment online. Our specialists’ goal is to get you in fast and back on the road to recovery.

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