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The RICE Regimen for Injuries is More Effective Than You Think

A healthy and strong body allows you to do all the things you need and want to do. If you’re an athlete, you expect a lot of your muscles and joints and are continually pushing yourself to perform at higher and higher levels. An injury can be excruciating and derail your athletic goals while also keeping you from doing necessary everyday life tasks.

When you are injured, your body alerts you there is a problem by causing you to feel pain. Although you may be tempted to push through the pain, you can make the injury worse by doing so, and possibly cause-related injuries. The RICE method is often recommended in the case of soft tissue injuries to your tendons, ligaments, or muscles to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

At Crescent City Orthopedics in Metairie, Louisiana, our skilled team of Orthopedic Surgeons and Sports Medicine doctors are available to provide you with excellent care. We offer a variety of services that help you live a full and active life. We provide top-notch, cutting edge treatment that allows you to heal from any injuries as quickly and effectively as possible. 

What is RICE?

The RICE regimen is a plan to follow when you experience a soft tissue injury such as a sprain or strain. It uses the acronym RICE to help you remember its components. The letters of RICE stand for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

The RICE method reduces inflammation and pain, allowing you to feel better while supporting your body healing as quickly as possible


Although some people live by the old expression, “no pain, no gain,” it’s essential to rest when you are injured. Powering through an injury can cause more damage and increase your discomfort. Resting allows the injured part to be immobilized, which helps avoid more severe injuries while supporting the body in healing itself. 


Applying ice to an injury reduces inflammation, which reduces pain. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about when and how to apply ice to your injury. Generally, you will want to apply an ice pack, or a package of frozen vegetables, to the affected area for short 15-20 minute intervals without having the ice directly touch your skin.


Compression means wrapping up the injured part of your body with an elastic bandage to help reduce swelling, which in turn reduces your pain and promotes healing. You want to snugly wrap the injured area with a bandage, but not wrap it so tightly that it cuts off the flow of blood. If you experience a tingling or numbing sensation, then the bandage is too tight, and you should remove it and wrap less tightly. 


Elevating the injured part of your body means raising it above your heart. This decreases swelling, inflammation, and pain. You can support your injured body part on pillows to raise it slightly up, leaving it there as long as you can, at least 2 to 3 hours a day.

Following the steps of the RICE regimen according to your doctor’s orders will help. Your doctor may also recommend pain relievers to help reduce inflammation and pain.

What can the RICE Regimen be used for?

The RICE regimen is usually recommended for soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and bruises. These types of injuries cause swelling and inflammation and can be quite painful. RICE helps reduce swelling and inflammation, reducing discomfort, and supporting the body in healing the damaged tissues.

Why is RICE so effective?

The pain you feel when you are injured is caused by inflammation. Reducing inflammation is essential to relieving your discomfort while supporting your body healing. RICE is very effective at reducing inflammation and pain from injuries because it employs a four-pronged approach to doing so. 

The RICE regimen is an effective way to reduce inflammation and pain and support healing after a soft tissue injury. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the components of this plan that decrease your discomfort while speeding up your recovery. 

To make an appointment at Crescent City Orthopedics, call our office and talk to our friendly staff, or use our online booking tool to schedule a time at your convenience.

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