When our athletes suffer an injury, we tell them to RICE it.
R is REST
Get off your feet and give yourself time to heal. More activity can lead to more damage.
I is ICE
Yes, ice, not heat. Heat can increase swelling and inflammation. Cold numbs pain and reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels. After injury, wrap an ice pack in a cloth and apply for 20 minutes, remove for 20 minutes, reapply for 20 minutes and so on. To prevent frostbite, do not apply ice directly to the skin.
C is COMPRESSION
Elastic bandages do a good job of compressing a new injury or inflammation and help keep swelling down. However, there’s a limit to how long you should compress an injury. At some point, blood flow to the injured area needs to increase to encourage healing. Use an elastic bandage like an Ace bandage for the first 24-28 hours.
E is Elavate
Elevate the injured part of the body above heart level. This provides a downward path for draining fluid back to the heart, which may reduce swelling and pain.
If your pain and swelling don’t begin to reduce after 48 hours, you should see your doctor. With the right care, sports chiropractor Dr. Mark Zuber will have you pain free and performing better in short order!