Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation: The R.I.C.E. Method of treating minor injuries!

Indomitable strength, balance, and explosive moves can add all the fun to a workout session. But, it is very important to approach the different shapes and workouts with the required precaution and the right form. When these requirements are not met, we can often lose balance or stress on the wrong muscles, resulting in a not-so-welcome injury. 

Injuries can be hard to navigate through. On the occasion of an unfortunate injury, it is very important to meet it with the right care and knowledge. For decades, the R.I.C.E. method has been considered a gold standard therapy for orthopedic injuries like muscle strains, sprains, muscle pulls, etc. Even fractures and ligament tears are often subjected to the R.I.C.E.treatment until they are repaired or surgically treated by the doctor. 

Injured your muscles? Here’s all about the R.I.C.E.Method and how it can help you heal! 

What is R.I.C.E.Method for Injuries? 

The R.I.C.E.Method i.e. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, is a simple self-care technique that helps in easing pain, reducing swelling, and healing an injury like ankle twists, knee ache, muscle sprain, etc. Vouched by physiotherapists, doctors, and fitness trainers, RICE Method is an easy at-home treatment to minor injuries caused during workouts, sports, running, etc.

 Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.)

Pain is a sign that something is wrong with your body. And most of us are clueless about what should be done when a minor injury occurs due during workout sessions, sports, or even daily activities. Like the First-Aid Treatment for minor muscle injuries, R.I.C.E. is a time-honored practice vouched by most athletes, body builders, and even sportspersons.

  • Rest: Take a break and protect your injury from getting worse. As soon as you are hurt, restrain activities and rest as much as possible to avoid putting any pressure on the injured muscles. Resting helps in preventing further bruising of the injury and starts with the healing process at the earliest.  
  • Ice: For reducing swelling and easing muscle pain, use an ice-pack as cold therapy reduces inflammation by decreasing blood flow. Apply the ice-pack (covered with a light absorbent towel) to the injured area within the first 24-48 hours. If you don’t have an ice pack, frozen peas/corn packets or even ice wrapped in a towel does the job.
  • Compression: To decrease swelling, and muscle pain, wrap the injured area with an elastic metal bandage. Compression restricts the blood flow to the area. However, the compression should feel like a snug fit and not too tight as it can interrupt the blood flow or further create pressure on the injury.
  • Elevation: While resting, keep the injured area elevated with a pillow or chair instead of letting it rest on the body level. Elevating the injured area above the heart, minimizes swelling and helps in healing. It is not an all-time need but a proven technique to channel healing.

While R.I.C.E is a great technique to start at-home treatment for minor injuries, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. When practiced right it can help you heal small injuries all by yourself, but some injuries need additional care. If your pain/swelling/inflammation/wound doesn’t subside in 2 days, contact your physiotherapist immediately or seek medical help.