What to do After a Sports Injury - RICE Therapy

Mar 27, 2023

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Sports can cause a wide range of injuries, from rolled ankles to broken bones. Initially following a sports injury, RICE therapy is suggested to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, in more severe cases it is important to see a doctor right away.

What is RICE therapy? 

R.I.C.E therapy, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, is a common and effective first-aid treatment for various injuries such as sprains, strains, and bruises. It is a simple and affordable method that can be performed at home or with the help of a professional, making it a popular choice for those who want to quickly relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In this blog, we will discuss what R.I.C.E therapy is, how it works, and how to use it properly.

Rest is crucial for the healing process. When you have an injury, the first thing you should do is stop the activity that caused the injury. This will help to prevent further damage and allow your body to start repairing itself. Rest also helps to reduce pain and swelling by reducing the flow of blood to the affected area.

Applying Ice is important to reduce pain and swelling in the injured area. Ice works by constricting the blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the affected area. This, in turn, decreases the amount of inflammation and pain. It is recommended to apply ice for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day. You should wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to prevent direct skin contact, which could cause frostbite.

Compress your injury to reduce swelling and stabilize the affected area. Compression can be achieved by using an elastic bandage or compression wrap. The bandage should be snug, but not too tight, as too much pressure can reduce blood flow and slow the healing process.

Elevate the point of injury to reduce swelling by draining excess fluid from the affected area. You should elevate the affected area above the level of your heart. This can be achieved by propping the affected limb up on pillows or sitting in a chair with your feet elevated.


When to use RICE Therapy

R.I.C.E therapy is effective for a variety of injuries, including sprains, strains, and bruises. Sprains occur when the ligaments, which connect bones to each other, are stretched or torn, while strains occur when the muscles or tendons are stretched or torn. Bruises occur when the skin and underlying tissues are damaged, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue. All three of these injuries can cause pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. R.I.C.E therapy can help to reduce these symptoms and promote healing.

Playing sports including baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, hockey, and football have a high risk of injury. If you are injured during a sporting event it is important to follow R.I.C.E therapy to make sure you get back to full health as soon as possible. R.I.C.E therapy will not instantaneously heal your injury, but it will speed up the recovery process. 

R.I.C.E therapy is a cost-effective alternative to more invasive treatments such as surgery or prescription medication. In many cases, R.I.C.E therapy can be performed at home, eliminating the need for a trip to the doctor or hospital. This can save time and money, making it an attractive option for those who want to treat their injuries quickly and efficiently.

However, it is important to note that R.I.C.E therapy is not suitable for all injuries. In some cases, such as a broken bone, R.I.C.E therapy may not provide enough support and a more involved treatment may be required. Additionally, in some cases, such as a severe sprain or strain, a doctor may need to evaluate the injury and provide additional treatment. If your pain persists a couple days post injury, it is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we offer minimally invasive treatments for all pain. Whether you have a foot, ankle, wrist, elbow, or back injury, we will create a personalized treatment plan that best fits your goals and needs. For more information about our treatments visit our services page or click the book now button to schedule an appointment with one of our providers. 



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