How to Care for a Minor Injury: R.I.C.E.
Let’s face it – accidents happen, to newbies and experts alike. When prioritizing fitness in your life it is important to know what to do in the event of a minor injury, like sprains and strains, because there isn’t much that doctors can do for them. The easiest method to care for minor injuries at home is the R.I.C.E. method. It stands for:
Let’s go over what this means…
REST – If you start to feel pain, especially when exercising, you should stop and tend to it immediately. The idea of “no pain, no gain” is obsolete and can do more harm than good. If you don’t care for a minor injury immediately, it can become serious and negatively affect you in the long run. You should always listen to your body.
ICE – Once you identify the location of your injury, ice it to reduce pain and swelling. You can use an ice pack to do this, wrapped in a thin towel if it’s too cold in order to avoid frostbite. Ice the injury in rotation of ten minutes on and ten minutes off for as long as possible.
COMPRESSION – Swelling is the body’s response to pain or overuse. To combat this, wrap the area with an ACE bandage. Compression reduces the amount of stress caused by swelling in and around the injury. Be careful not to make the ACE bandage too tight – if you get pins and needles or your skin starts to change color, it’s too tight.
ELEVATE – Elevate the injured body part anywhere above heart level. This is typically done by lying down and elevating said injury with pillows. Keeping the body part that is injured propped up helps to reduce pain and throbbing. You may also ice the injury while it is elevated.
It is so important to address minor injuries that can’t be treated by doctors before they get worse. R.I.C.E. is a simple, yet effective way to care for yourself when accidents happen. It is also beneficial to know R.I.C.E. in the event that someone you know has a minor injury as well. Keep this in mind and remember, the best way to prevent injuries is by properly taking care of your body! Check out these tips for easy workout injury prevention.