When someone tells you that they are giving something the R.I.C.E. treatment, you would be correct to assume that perhaps they dropped their phone in water and are using the age-old trick to try and bring it back to life. However, when you hear it from a podiatrist or any other medical professional, they are most likely referring to the simple, do-it-yourself treatment for acute injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce the swelling, bruising, and pain that accompany these injuries in their earliest stages. Here is what each letter in the acronym stands for:
· R: Rest— The best thing you can do after an injury like a sprained ankle is rest it as much as possible. It may be difficult and frustrating at times, but the less you aggravate the injury, the better your body will respond.
· I: Ice—Applying ice or a cold compress to your injury will cause your blood vessels to get smaller, limiting the amount of bruising and swelling beneath the skin. In addition, the cold temperature might be able to numb away some of the lingering pain.
· C: Compression—Like ice, compression also helps with the immediate swelling and bruising by spreading out the pressure and fluid. Make sure that the bandage or sleeve is not too tight, and if you begin to lose sensation in your fingers or toes, loosen it.
· E: Elevation—Let gravity help you out here! If you elevate the injury above the level of the heart, blood will naturally flow away from it to reduce inflammation.
R.I.C.E. has the potential to alleviate all discomfort you are experiencing from a recent injury. However, if it does not get better within a few days or it severely restricts your mobility, you should consider seeking the opinion of one of the doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston. At their six offices in the Houston, Texas area, the doctors deliver expert care for a wide range of sports injuries, soft tissue injuries, or even fractures. Don’t spend another day in pain! Contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114 with questions or to request an appointment!