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Friday, August 8, 2014

Common Treatment for Sports Injuries: RICE

Some common 'on-the-spot' treatment that every athlete and fitness warrior should know. The more active you are, the more likely you will sustain some kind of ailment or even God forbid, injury. The good news is that the better conditioned you are, the quicker you can recover on average. 
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RICE, one of the most common and important acronyms in the world of sports, means Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Adhering to the RICE regimen for the first 48 hours after your injury, is often all that you'll need to get back on your feet. The idea behind RICE is to minimize the inflammation and swelling that occurs with a sports injury.
Rest. Stop the activities that will aggravate your injury. You can, however, choose another activity that doesn't hurt. For example, if you have pulled a hamstring while running, you can continue your upper-body weight-training. Rest can mean the difference between an injury that heals properly and one that continues to bother you for months.
Ice. Ice reduces the swelling and stops the pain by constricting blood flow to the injured area. Don't apply ice directly to your skin--wrap the ice in cloth or apply it over an elastic bandage. You should ice 2-3 times a day, at first, and decrease to once a day, thereafter, until the pain is improving. The old axiom of "ice then heat" is no longer accepted by sports specialists and ice on a daily basis is recommended.

Compression. Compressing the injured area with an elastic bandage immediately after the injury limits fluid leakage into nearby areas and helps to reduce the swelling. You should wrap the bandage tightly enough so you feel some tension, but not so firmly that you cut off the circulation or feel numbness.

Elevation. Elevating the injured body part decreases swelling and improves fluid drainage. Elevation works best when used in conjunction with the rest of the RICE treatment. The body part should be elevated above the joint that is between that body part and the heart--i.e. foot must be higher than the knee and hip; The hand must be higher than the elbow and the shoulder.

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