Is RICE Still the Best Method?
Do you know what to do if one of your gym buddies or yourself suffers an injury? In this article, we look at
RICE which has become a popular technique. Not only is it easy to remember, efficient and effective, it can
be applied by anybody who knows what it stands for.
In our last blog we had a look at the most common sporting injuries. As with any injury, always get an x-ray
if you believe that by any chance you have broken something. Sometimes a bad sprain can disguise a
break, as it is just as painful when it happens and can actually take longer to heal so always seek medical
Each of the four stages of RICE are definitely still relevant, common sense, and will help you reduce the
healing time if you follow the advice.
It’s hard when you are a bit of an exercise junkie to take time out to rest when you have an injury. You just
want to get straight back into it for the adrenalin rush. Besides, exercise always helps you get your head in
a great place, particularly if you are stressed or depressed. The serotonin (known as the sunshine drug)
that is released from the brain into the blood vessels can be addictive.
When you are participating in high impact, fast exercise such as running, you can have a more serious injury
without realising. The endorphins that are released will mask some of the pain. Be sensible and rest as
soon as possible, even if you believe it’s just a small injury.
Applying ice as soon as possible will help to reduce the inflammation and swelling. There is bound to be
scar tissue (which is the swelling, to protect the injury). However, you can reduce the severity of it by
applying ice. A bag of frozen peas will do the trick if you don’t have an ice pack to hand. When the swelling
has gone down, alternate the ice with heat so it encourages blood flow to the area to heal the injury
When you are applying compression to the injury by way of tissues or a dressing or bandage, the pressure
should be lower than the blood pressure. The compression will stem any bleeding, however you don't
want it so hard that it cuts off the blood supply to the rest of the limb. Equally, when the swelling has sub-
sided you can remove the compression dressing and start to exercise the injured limb gently to ensure
movement so stiffness doesn’t set in.
Elevating the limb higher than the heart will reduce blood flow to the injured point and therefore will
reduce any pressure and swelling around the injury. Sometimes elevation is impossible during certain
times of the day, but the more you can keep the injured limb higher than the heart, the faster it will heal
because you are resting it too.
As always please seek medical attention and obtain the right rehabilitation from a professional. We have a
wide range of products available to aid your rehabilitation, as well to help prevent injuries in the first place,
take a look around today.