R.I.C.E - Why it works!

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12:33 PM

Rice. It is a great dish that billions of people across the globe enjoying weekly. It is also an acronym for a great treatment that is becoming very popular for those suffering from sports injuries. RICE, if you have not heard the term before, stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a treatment that is gaining a great deal of attention for its benefits in helping those with soft tissue injuries, such as bone or sports injuries. The questions that many may have, however, is what this treatment is all about and if it works?


Preventing Injuries to Start

Before diving into RICE and its benefits, it is important to explain that Australia has taken considerable measures to try to prevent injuries. Over the last two decades several publications and health announcements have been provided to teach people of all ages to take the proper precautions and safety measures to avoid injuries, especially when it comes falls.

The fact remains that tens of thousands of soft tissue injuries are directly related to falls, which are often preventable. If people are taking the proper steps to avoid these types of injuries, the need for therapy and care would be greatly diminished.


What Is R.I.C.E.?

As mentioned, R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a way to quickly treat pain and swelling that occurs after an acute injury. In many instances, it is also used to relieve pain for those who have closed fractures or degenerative joint problems.



The first act is caressed if injured tissue is going to heal, the person needs to rest for at least 48 hours. This removes unnecessary stress, especially from leg injuries. Keep immobile as much a

s possible. If it is an injury to your leg and you need to walk, use some kind of device to assist you.


To reduce pain and inflammation, you want to ice the affected area for 20 minutes every hour. You can use a cold gel pack or plastic bag filled with ice as well. You do not want to apply the ice directly to the skin, but rapid in a towel or other material. You also want to ensure you do not have it on the affected area for more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid damaging the skin.



Compression is a great way to reduce swelling in areas like the knee, wrist, ankle. Use an ace bandage or a special boot to wrap the area.



You want to elevate the injured area above the heart. This provides a pathway where the blood is moving downward toward the heart. This will help to reduce swelling and inflammation more quickly, also reducing the amount of pain.


Should You Do This?

This sounds like a rather protracted process, which requires you to be diligent in performing each of the tasks. Some may question whether this is worth doing, but the reason that you should is because this is a very effective technique.

For those suffering from acute injuries, especially those related to sports injuries or to falls, this is a very effective technique. You will see a significant decline in the amount of inflammation and pain, which can also help the healing process.