Recoup Recovery | Treating Injuries with the RICE method


Whether as a result of aging, disease, accident, or a combination of these factors, injuries are especially common among active individuals. Even when proper form and technique are followed, injuries can occur during running, working out, or playing a sport. 

Once you are injured, it is imperative to act quickly to ensure the injury doesn’t get worse, and to help alleviate pain. 

Knee, ankle, elbow, and shoulder injuries are some of the most common athletic injuries and even minor injuries can require several weeks to heal, and major injuries can take up to a year. 

One of the best tried and true recovery methods when this has happened is R.I.C.E.

What is the RICE method?

The RICE method is a common approach to treating minor injuries. It's a simple and effective technique that has stood the test of time.

Here's how to deal with minor injuries to your body, according to the RICE method.

  1. Rest: Don’t try and push through the pain once you have sustained an injury. Doing this can cause the injury to worsen. Instead, immediately stop and rest the injured area. 
  2. Ice: Use a cold compress or ice on the injury for about 30 minutes, but don't leave it on longer than this, which can lead to swelling and dehydration.
  3. Compression: In addition to icing, it is important to use hot compression on the injured area. This will help reduce swelling and increase blood flow to the area after icing. 
  4. Elevation: Whenever you are sitting or laying down, be sure to elevate the injury above the level of your heart to keep swelling down. 

What are the benefits of RICE?

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is one of the most effective treatment methods for injuries for a number of reasons, but in short each of these steps helps target specific symptoms. 

For example, icing an injury helps reduce swelling, reduce pain, and reduce inflammation. However, over icing can lead to nerve or tissue damage due to decreased blood flow. 

Compression, especially heat compression, helps increase blood flow to counter the negative effects of over icing. 

Elevation helps to further reduce swelling in the injured area, and resting is pretty straightforward (don’t overwork an injury, otherwise it could become more severe). 

What injuries can RICE treat?

R.I.C.E. is most effective at treating minor injuries, especially when implemented almost immediately. 

This includes: strains, sprains, bruises, and minor contusions. While this can help injuries that are more severe, such as ACL injuries or muscle tears, these major injuries usually require longer periods of rest and in some cases surgery. 

While not a part of the R.I.C.E. acronym, it is almost always recommended to use pain relief and anti-inflammation medicines in conjunction with R.I.C.E. 

RICE method for muscle strains

Muscle strains are some of the most common minor injuries and can usually take a few weeks to fully heal. R.I.C.E. helps to reduce pain, which is the biggest concern with strains, but rest is key to prevent these injuries from worsening. 

RICE method for ankle

A stiff ankle is not always an indicator of a more serious injury, but as long as the injury is serious enough to affect your ability to run or do a big jump, it's worth seeing a doctor.

Even a minor twist can cause great pain and decreased movement which R.I.C.E. can help relieve the pain and reduce swelling. 

Without the rest period, chronic ankle sprains can become common.

RICE method for knee 

Knee injuries are also common among both professional and amateur athletes. Minor knee strains can be aided by R.I.C.E. therapy, but more server injuries such as ACL tears require more invasive treatment methods and longer recovery periods. 

If you are unsure of how serious your knee injury is, it is imperative to contact your doctor for a professional diagnosis and treatment options, such as surgery. 

Recover with Recoup Fitness Muscle Recovery Products

Recovering from an injury is exhausting... visits to your physiotherapist, ice wraps, heat pads and wasting countless money on different braces. Recoup Fitness is here to help you take back your day and conquer your muscle pain. Stay connected to your active lifestyle. It's time to conquer your pain and get the most out of your recovery with Recoup. 

When it comes to R.I.C.E., our Cryosleeve and Thermosleeve products help to improve the effectiveness of icing and compression stages. 

Be sure to check out our full catalog and start on your road to recovery today!
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