RICE Protocol Therapy | Foot and Ankle Pain | The Relief Institute

RICE Protocol

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.


Ankle Injury
Usually due to an underlying injury, ankle pain refers to any kind of sudden or worsening discomfort affecting any part of the ankle.

Ankle Joint Injury
An ankle joint injury may be due to the soft tissues of a ligament or tendon stretching beyond their capacity, better known as an ankle sprain or strain.

Bone Injury
A single foot contains 26 bones, any of which can be linked to a source of discomfort. A bone injury can affect the shape, balance or function of the foot.

Bone Union Problem
A bone is “healed” when it is strong enough to allow for normal activities. A bone union problem is a bone that does not heal properly or is taking longer than expected.

Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome occurs when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed muscle space in the body, most commonly after exercising.

Dance Injury
Dance can be physically demanding and the pressure placed on the foot and ankle can increase the risk of developing an injury.

Great (Big) Toe Joint Disorder
Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the great (big) toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint.

Ankle Impingement is a condition where pain is experienced due to compression of the bony or soft tissue structures during a specific range of motion.

Injuries to the Achilles Tendon
An overly stressed Achilles tendon can be subject to mild or serious injuries. If the injury is mild or moderate, it may be limited to burning or stiffness.

Lateral Column Overload
Lateral column overload is a condition describing pain due to excessive weight running through the lateral column onto the outer part of the midfoot.

Peroneal Tendon Injury
A peroneal tendon injury most commonly occurs in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion.

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot.

Sesamoid Injury
A sesamoid acts as a pulley to help a tendon flex and curl. A sesamoid injury affects the bone’s ability to provide leverage while walking and jumping.

Tendinopathy and Tendonitis
Tendonitis is the resulting inflammation from tendinopathy (or tendinosis), a common overuse injury caused by frequent and long-term excessive compression.

Tendon Strain
A strain is a stretch or tear in the tissues making up a tendon or muscle. These injuries commonly occur while participating in sports.

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