What Is The Rice Method and How does it help ​Recovering from Injury?

What Is The Rice Method and How does it help ​Recovering from Injury?

Posted by Source Cold Therapy on Sep 02, 2020

At one point or another, we have all been faced with an injury that has put us out for a few days. Most of us know exactly what to do when that happens, take it easy, ice the area, maybe elevate it and wrap it up. Whether you know it or not, when you follow those steps you are actually following the R.I.C.E. method.

The rice method injury is a common practice used for treating acute injuries or sprains that has been shown to speed up recovery time. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This method is ideal for soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and bruises. When applied properly, it will help reduce further injury to the affected area.

Rest

The first step in treating an injury is Rest. Slowing down and avoiding use of the injured area helps to minimize possible further damage and gives your body time to fully recover. For best practice, you should refrain from putting any weight on the injury for a few days and use the necessary braces and splints as needed.

Ice

This step is meant to reduce pain and swelling by using some form of cold therapy to the area. The cold helps to both reduce pain by numbing the area slightly and also reduces the swelling by constricting blood vessels to slow blood flow. It is important to begin this step within the first 24-48 hours after injury for it to be the most beneficial. For best results, you can do 20 minutes of cold therapy at a time every 4 hours.

There are a few different options when it comes to using cold therapy. If you just want to keep it simple, using a bag of ice, frozen peas, or cold pack will work. However, for more serious injuries, the use of Cold Therapy Machines can be beneficial.

Compression

Applying slight pressure to the injured area helps to reduce and prevent excess swelling. Wrap the area tightly, but not too tight as to not cut off circulation. You can apply compression to the injured area for 48 - 72 hours.

If the area is starting to feel numb, tingly, or changing color, you may have wrapped the area too tightly which can cause additional injury. Try loosening the wrap.

Elevation

Keeping your injury elevated is also helpful in reducing swelling and also bruising as it prevents excess blood from traveling to the area. You should aim to elevate the area for at least 2-3 hours everyday until swelling subsides.

When To Use The RICE Method:

Doctors suggest using the R.I.C.E. method following an acute injury such as a sprain, strain, or heavy bruising. You should begin treating your injury as soon as possible, and always within the first 24-48 hours.

When to Call a Doctor:

You should always call a doctor for any serious injuries such as a break. For less serious injuries that do not need immediate medical attention, if you are not seeing any improvement after 48 hours, call your doctor for further treatment.

Take Your Healing Up A Notch:

At Source Cold Therapy, we specialize in helping people heal using the power of Cold Therapy. We understand that sometimes using a bag of ice or an ace bandage just doesn’t cut it when you are trying to speed up your healing time from an injury, or even post surgery. If you are looking for something a bit more reliable and sophisticated, you came to the right place.

The many benefits of Cold Therapy go beyond just rehabbing an injury, such pain management reducing inflammation, and even managing arthritis.

There are many Cold Therapy options on the market, some which provide only cold therapy and others that provide both cold therapy and compression. Depending on your needs will determine which option is right for you.


Here are some of our favorites:


Simple Cold Therapy

Ossur Cold Rush Cold Therapy Unit

The Ossur Cold Therapy Unit is one of our favorites for very good reason, it is lightweight and reliable with a strong flow rate and whisper-quiet motor.The Cold Rush Cold Therapy System provides an effective and soothing treatment for pain and swelling to help you return to normal activity faster by providing cooling relief throughout the healing and recovery process.

Available Pad Options:

Knee

Shoulder (small and large sizes)

Foot/Ankle

Lumbar

Hip (right and left pads)

Universal

Get it here for $174.99

This unit is also available in a compact version. Grab that here for $124.99.


Breg Kodiak Cold Therapy Unit

With a run time of up to 10 hours and optional battery pack, the Breg Kodiak Unit is a great option for anyone on the go, or who is looking for an extended run time. It also has an available dual pad hose which allows you to apply cold therapy to two seperate areas of the body at once.

Available Pad Options:

Knee

Shoulder (small and large sizes)

Back

Ankle

Hip

Hand/Wrist

Universal

Get it here for $159.00


Cold Therapy with Compression

Aircast Motorized Cryo/Cuff

Combining the benefits of cold therapy with intermittent compression, the Aircast Motorized Cryo/Cuff provides optimal control of swelling to minimize pain. This Cold Therapy unit has a wide selection of pad options at an affordable cost making it a great choice for anyone.

Available Pad Options:

Ankle

Foot

Calf

Knee

Elbow

Hand/Wrist

Shoulder

Back

Thigh


Game Ready ice Machine

The Game Ready Cold Therapy Unit is considered to be the top of the line when it comes to cold therapy and compression. This unit is a top choice for many athletes as it also provides high level compression and gives you the added ability to control the pressure as well as temperature of treatment. While this unit is more of an investment than the other Cold Therapy options on the market, it is worth every penny.

Available Pad Options:

Universal Knee

Articulated Knee

Ankle

Back

C-T Spine Wrap

Elbow (Straight and Flexed Options)

Hand/Wrist

Shoulder

Leg (Full and Half options)

Groin



Being proactive in treating any form of injury is important in determining your recovery time and level of healing. Following the RICE method is well known for being an effective protocol for reducing healing time as well as swelling. Incorporating some form of cold therapy plays a vital role in the success of recovery.

Source Cold Therapy has a wide variety of Cold Therapy Units and accessories to help your body properly and efficiently heal following injury or even surgery.

Resources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321469#scientific-consensus

https://www.brownmed.com/blog/cryotherapy/4-health-benefits-of-cold-therapy/

https://share.upmc.com/2014/08/rice-method-for-treating-injury/

https://wvorthocenter.com/rice/