RICE protocol is a simple self-care technique used to reduce swelling, ease pain, and speed up healing of an injured muscle, tendon, or ligament. These are called soft tissue injuries and are often sports-related.
You can treat minor injuries at home. Sprains and strains are the most common type of injuries treated by this method. The doctor will recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) as one of your first treatments.
Steps to follow in RICE Protocol
The RICE method includes the following steps:
- Rest. Avoid using the injured area. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Therefore, as soon as you’re hurt, you need to stop your activity and rest as much as possible for the first two days. Stop following the “no pain, no gain” philosophy as this can lead to further damage and can delay your recovery. It is good to avoid putting weight on the injured area for 24 to 48 hours. Resting can also help minimize bruising.
- Ice. Applying a cold compress in the affected area will reduce pain and swelling. To do this step, you need to apply ice or cold pack right after the injury for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. After 48 to 72 hours, once the swelling is gone, apply heat to the area that hurts. Remember not to apply ice or heat directly to the skin. You can use a towel over the cold or heat pack before applying it to the skin.
- Compression. Wrap the injured area with an elastic medical bandage to provide support, reduce blood flow, and limit swelling.
- Elevation. Keep the area raised above the level of the heart. Doing so reduces, throbbing, and swelling.
The advantages of RICE Method
The benefits one can get upon using the RICE method includes:
- Prevents further injury
- Reduces pain in the injured area
- Keeps swelling under control
If the symptoms don’t disappear right away, seek medical help immediately. Call us to schedule a one-on-one appointment with our listed podiatrists. Eliminate your pain so you can enjoy life at its best.