What is the RICE Method for Treating Injuries?

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If you’ve ever been injured, you’ve likely been told to use RICE. This tried-and-true method can be done at home to reduce inflammation and pain while speeding up the recovery process. 

In this article, we’ll explore the RICE method and how it can be successfully used for certain injuries. 

What Does RICE Stand For?

RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation:


After getting injured, it’s essential to stop and rest the area as much as possible. Especially in the first few days, resting the injury rather than pushing through physical activity will pave the way for a successful recovery. 


Icing the injury with an ice pack or by submerging it in an ice bath causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict, bringing down the swelling and pain. If you use an ice pack, cover it with a towel to protect your skin and ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours. For an ice bath, keep the area submerged in the ice water for up to 15 minutes. This is particularly helpful in the first few days after getting injured. 


Wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage, like an ACE bandage, can help reduce swelling. The bandage should compress the area, but not be wrapped too tightly, as doing so could interfere with blood flow to the injury. Loosen the bandage if the area tingles or feels numb, cold, or turns blue. 


Elevating the injured area above your heart can alleviate swelling and pain. This can be done by lying down on a couch or bed and placing the injured area on a stack of pillows. Elevate the injury as often as you can. 

While RICE may help you recover from minor injuries, it’s not enough to heal from moderate to severe injuries. In these cases, professional medical care is essential to ensure that the injury heals properly and doesn’t cause future problems. Schedule an appointment at Hernando Orthopaedic for a personalized injury treatment plan!