When in doubt... R.I.C.E.
April 29, 2012By David Maney II of Cary High School
Written by Eric C. Hall, MAEd, LAT, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer
When a non-life threatening injury occurs to the body, such as a sprain, strain, or bruise, it is best to follow the R.I.C.E. principle.
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
REST or decrease the activity level. This does not always mean stop the activity or exercise completely but to reduce the amount, distance, or intensity level of the activity. Sometimes this can mean to rehab the injury as well.
ICE or use cold application to slow down the blood flow, swelling, and decrease pain. Use ice for the 20-25 minutes every 2 hours. Ice should be used for the first 48 hours after injury or until swelling and bruising are gone.
COMPRESSION or wrap the injury to disperse future swelling. Cover all areas with an elastic bandage or ACE wrap.
ELEVATION or raise the body part above the heart if possible. This helps reduce swelling by letting gravity get the blood to return to the heart. Following the R.I.C.E. principle will help control a minor injury and reduce missed time from the activity.