No – We’re not talking about the Vanilla Ice chart-topper Ice Ice Baby. We are referring to R.I.C.E. – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. R.I.C.E. is the proper first aid for sprains, strains, muscle pulls or tears and should be used as an immediate first aid measure. It is believed to relive pain, limit swelling and protect the injured soft tissue. Below, we breakdown the R.I.C.E. method of treatment:
R – Rest is crucial to protect injured muscles, tendons and ligaments from further injury and can promote proper healing.
I – Ice is synonymous with reducing swelling by limiting blood flow to the injured area. Never apply ice directly to the skin and avoid leaving it on longer than 20 minutes at a time. A cold pack, crushed ice bag or frozen bag of peas wrapped in a thin towel are all effective methods.
C – Compression also helps limit swelling and can reduce pain. The easiest way to compress an injury is to wrap with an ACE bandage.
E – Elevation, like ice, reduces blood flow and limits swelling. Try to elevate the injured area above the heart. For example, if you hurt your ankle, lie down and prop it up on two pillows.
The P.R.I.C.E. method also advocates “protection,” and is one of many treatments for common injuries. Our orthopedic surgery glossary is filled with terms and acronyms you need to know in order to stay healthy.