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RICE -Treating Soft Tissue Injury

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

RICE is often the best treatment for soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains pulled muscles and repetitive stress injuries. Do all four parts of the RICE treatment together. If this does not work after one or two days, consult your health care provider. Do not use the RICE treatment without consulting your healthcare provider if you suspect a more serious injury, such as internal bleeding or a broken bone.

REST the injured area. Your body is telling you to stop if moving the injured area causes pain. Do not think of “bed rest” instead think of “active rest”. Keep moving. Do not do an activity that causes pain instead perform an alternative activity to maintain cardiac performance. For example, if your ITB causes pain while training for a running marathon, bike or walk or if your pain occurs consistently 7 miles into your training run, shorten your runs to 5 miles.

ICE with a cold pack applied to the injured area will help to reduce swelling. Swelling causes more pain and slows healing. Cover the ice pack with a wet cloth and apply the ice for 10 to 30 minutes intermittently for 48 to 72 hours. A package of frozen vegetables makes a good ice pack.

COMPRESSION helps to prevent or reduce swelling. Use an elastic, or ACE, bandage. Wrap the injured area with the bandage, but not so tightly to cut off the blood flow. It should not be painful.

ELEVATION means raising the injured area above the level of the heart.

Elevation may also reduce the "throbbing" pain that may be present

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