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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/.