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Knowing the theory and the practical application of the R.I.C.E technique is crucial for those who participate in a lot of sporting activities as well as for those who are in charge of groups such as Boy Scouts.
The R.I.C.E sports injury treatment is most vital form of first aid that should be given to anyone who has incurred an injury while taking part in some game or while running or doing aerobics or exercising in the gym. It aims to stabilize the joint as well as to stem the blood flow and to stop or prevent the swelling.
R stands for rest; I for ice; C for compress; and E for elevation;
Rest: In case of an injury it is imperative that the part of the body that is injured should not be subjected to any more injury. Immediate rest helps prevent the injured tendon, muscle or ligament from undergoing any unnecessary stress. When the injured part gets the rest it needs, healing is much faster.
Ice: A cold pack provides instant relief to the injured part and also helps to prevent or at least to reduce the swelling. In the absence of a cold pack, ice wrapped in a towel or even a frozen of green peas works just as well. However, there is one caveat when using an ice pack. It is important that the ice pack should be used for not more than 15 or 20 mins. When kept on the skin too long, it can cause damage to the skin. The best way to use an ice pack is to apply it over the injury for 15 minutes. Then take it off and re-apply after another 20 minutes.
Compression: Compression is equally important as it helps to stabilize the joint and also to minimize the swelling. Compression should be done with an elastic bandage tied firmly around the injured part. However, it is important that while the bandage should fit snugly, it should not be too tight as that could further exacerbate the pain. In case the bandage causes throbbing when it is tied, it signifies that it has been tied too tightly and needs to be removed and re-tied a little looser.
Elevation: Elevating the injury also helps to reduce the swelling. If you can, it is best to elevate the injured part above the heart as this reduces the blood flow and thus reduces the swelling. In case of injury to the ankles or the lower extremities, placing a couple of pillows under the ankle or the injured part will instantly prevent further swelling. The R.I.C.E technique is an effective sports injury treatment for most sports injuries that are minor. It can be continued for a couple of days till the injured portion stabilizes. During that time it is best to avoid putting any weight on the injured portion.
If, after a couple of days the swelling and pain still persist, the injury may be more severe than and it is best to seek the advice of a doctor.
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