RICE Method Reduces Swelling and Pain

Rice Method_ LargeThere have been countless athletes who’ve taken spills in one way or another since the start of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

There’s the Austrian who face planted at the Opening Ceremony, the Czech who had a scary fall during the women’s snowboarding slope style competition and the 19-year-old American figure skater who fell during his first Olympic run. The list goes on!

While they may be suffering from falls that are a little more extreme than the average citizen might, many of these professional athletes will still receive the same care that we do.

Not EVERY bump, scrape or roll of the ankle will require a visit to a podiatrist. In cases like these and in terms of self-care, the RICE method has been proven most effective by the majority of physicians.

RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate.

R: Rest the injured area by protecting it from additional harm. This may mean making a change in your daily habits or taking a break from activities that agitate or cause pain to the area.

I: Ice or any frozen item such as a bag of peas or carrots will quickly reduce both pain and swelling. To prevent or minimize the swelling, apply the ice as quickly as possible to the injured area for 15 minutes three times per day. Remember to place a protector such as a towel between the icepack and skin to avoid direct contact.

C: Compressing the injured area by using an elastic bandage will help decrease swelling. Be careful of wrapping the bandage too tightly, as this can cause additional swelling. If you have numbness, increased pain or more swelling, loosen the bandage immediately.

E: Elevation of the injury is key when fighting pain and swelling. Use a pillow whenever you’re sitting or lying down and keep the area above your heart level to help keep the swelling down.

If you have had a mild injury and would like peace of mind, call the office (859-264-1141) or make an online appointment for us to take a look at the area in question. Sometimes what feels like a minor twinge of pain can end up being a stress fracture that needs to be treated so that no further damage is done. An ounce of prevention now is better than costly correction in the future!

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