Rice isn’t just for eating, it’s an important acronym that can be used to help heal after a minor sprain or injury. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you follow these tips, you can help to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and hopefully counteract your body’s natural response to injury using this method. If you perform RICE as soon as possible, it can help with the overall healing process.
The first step in RICE is rest. Stop using whatever the injured body part is. It’s likely part of your leg or foot so, stop any activity, including walking. Avoid any activity that feels painful or may have caused the injury. Try not to put a lot of weight on it as it could lead to further damage.
While you’re resting, make sure you’re also using ice. Apply ice to the injured area for the first 48-72 hours after the injury. Do this for 20 minutes at a time followed by another hour “off” or without. The cold from the ice helps the injured capillaries to contract so your blood vessels will stop bleeding internally. Do not apply directly to the skin, make sure there is some sort of barrier.
The next step is compression. Wrap the injured body part in cloth, a compression sleeve, or elastic bandage when you start to be more active again. This should help to reduce swelling around the injury which will help speed up the healing process.
Elevation is the last step. Keep the injured body part elevated above your heart in order to decrease swelling and joint paint.
Other tips for helping reduce pain are to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. This can help reduce pain as well as swelling and are popular treatments for muscular aches, arthritis, and joint stiffness.
If you’ve suffered an injury and have already tried the steps listed above, we’d love to talk to you about other treatment options. Give our office a call today at (219) 795-3360. With four convenient locations, we’re happy to help you get back to your routine!