≡ Menu

Latest News

How “RICE” Can Treat Swelling, Sprains & Strains

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

You’re out for a jog or running drills during practice. All of the sudden, you’re down on the ground, hugging a knee or bending over a twisted ankle.

Quick. What do you do?

If you answered, “stop,” then you’d be right! Don’t try to brush it off or “play through the pain.” You could end up with an injury a lot worse than the one you started out with. While you wait to get to your Houston orthopedic physician, practice RICE.

Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation: The (Almost) Cure-All

RICE (which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation) is useful for managing pain, swelling and internal bleeding in many soft-tissue acute injuries, such as sprains and strains. Your Houston sports medicine physician may also recommend RICE for managing symptoms after the initial evaluation. Here are some basic RICE guidelines to follow:

  • Limit use of the affected body part for 48 hours. If you can completely avoid using the injured joint for that long… even better! If the injured joint is a knee or ankle, stay on the couch as much as possible. Use crutches or have someone assist you in any walking that’s absolutely necessary.
  • Ice for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day (6-8x per day). Place a towel between your skin and the ice pack in order to protect your skin.
  • Use elastic wraps or an air boot to apply compression to the injured joint.
  • Keep the injured area above your heart to reduce swelling.

Sports Injury? Schedule With a Houston Orthopedic Doctor

At Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, my team regularly evaluates sprains, strains, fractures and other acute sports injuries. If you have experienced an injury and need a downtown/midtown Houston sports medicine physician, give us a call at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.