Tag: sports medicine

RICE your knees…How to care for a sports injury

As the weather is starting to warm up, many of us are thinking about getting outside and getting active.  With this increased movement, it’s no wonder that a search of google trends from 2004-2016 showed that April of each year is the most common month for searches related to knee injuries (1).

The R.I.C.E. method is one of the most commonly recommended ways to treat sports injuries to joints and muscles.  It has even received a stamp of approval from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (2).  This method has 4 steps:


R is for Rest  Try to avoid using the injured area and putting weight on it for 24-48 hours if possible (3)

I is for Ice Every 4 hours, put rice on the injury for 20 minutes at a time (3).  For comfort, you can place a thin cloth between the ice bag and your skin (2).

C is for Compression Wrap the area with a bandage, like an ACE wrap, in order to gently compress the injured area.  This will help control swelling.  Just be careful not to wrap it too tight and cut of your blood flow (3).

E is for Elevation This is your opportunity to sit and prop your feet (or other injured spot) up.  Use pillows or other comfortable items to try to keep the area above the level of your heart.  This can reduce swelling (3).


Once you start feeling better, you can SLOWLY and GENTLY start using the injured area again.  Also, if you’re not sure how bad you’ve hurt yourself, be sure to get it checked out by a medical provider.



  1. Using Google Trends To Assess For Seasonal Variation In Knee Injuries. Dewan, Varun and Sur, Hartej. February 21, 2018, Journal of Arthroscopy and Joint Surgery.
  2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. How to Care for a Sprained Ankle. American Orhopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. [Online] http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/foot-injury/Pages/How%20to%20Care%20for%20a%20Sprained%20Ankle.aspx.
  3. Sports Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. How to Use the R.I.C.E Method for Treating Injuries. UPMC Health Beat. [Online] August 27, 2014. https://share.upmc.com/2014/08/rice-method-for-treating-injury/.



Heading to the emergency room for concussion

More children are getting seen in hospital emergency departments (ED) for concussion—60% more over the past eight years—according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That isn’t necessarily because rates of head injury are going up that fast; the authors of the study say themselves that the awareness of the importance of treating concussion may well be the main reason more kids are being seen in the ER after a head injury.  According to the study, “the number of ED visits for [traumatic brain injuries] that resulted in hospitalization did not trend upward significantly,” meaning the ED visits weren’t translating into hospital stays.

UNC’s own Steven Marshall, the interim director of the school’s Injury Prevention and Research Center, was quoted in USA Today saying, ” It’s a good increase, if that makes any sense. These injuries were always there. It’s just that now people are getting treatment that they weren’t getting before.”

Awareness of the importance of concussions among kids playing contact sports has prompted two New Jersey legislators to propose a new federal law that would make schools across the U.S. adopt standards for managing head injuries in games like football, basketball and soccer.

The CDC plans to put together an expert panel to define what those guidelines should look like after reviewing the research on head injuries.  A protocol is expected from that panel by fall 2014.

Bicycling, not normally considered a “contact” sport, also showed up in the CDC’s list of sports that contributed to emergency-room visits for head injuries.

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