Rush Medical Center Home Page Information for healthcare Professionals Rush University
FIND A DOCTOR
PATIENT & VISTOR SERVICES
HEALTH INFORMATION
CLINICAL SERVICES
EVENTS & CLASSES
RUSH NEWS ROOM
CLINICAL TRIALS
RESEARCH AT RUSH
NURSING AT RUSH
WORK AT RUSH
GIVING TO RUSH

Bookmark This Page
Health Information Easy as 1, 2, 3 ... RICE small injuries

 

Next time you're sidelined by a minor injury, such as an ankle sprain or strained muscle, go for the RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation. RICE therapy is the fastest way to relieve pain and reduce swelling from minor injuries.

"The goal is for the patient to take care of the injury in the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent further damage," says Niby Mathew, MD, a family physician at Rush University Medical Center.

Rest it. This may mean staying off the injured limb entirely or just avoiding exercise and certain activities, as needed, to help prevent further damage.

Always follow up with your doctor after at least two days — sooner if symptoms get worse. If you think you have a serious injury, don't try to treat it at home. See your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

Ice. Apply ice to the injury during the first 48 hours. The cold will restrict blood flow to the area and lessen swelling. The cold also numbs the injury, so you'll feel less pain. Ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time, every two hours, four to eight times a day. Allow at least 20 minutes between each icing session. Keep a thin towel between the ice and your skin to avoid cold injury or frostbite.

Compression. Wrap the injury with an elastic bandage to provide support. Rewrap the bandage every four hours to maintain compression and minimize swelling. When it's time to ice the injury, take off the bandage and rewrap it when you are done.

"You want the bandage to be firm but not too tight," Mathew says. "If after 10 minutes, the area below the injury is red or swollen, it's too tight; loosen the bandage."

Elevation. As much as possible, keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart. Gravity will drain the fluid away from the injury. Elevating the injured area even a little will help with swelling.

Niby Mathew, MD, practices at University Family Physicians Southwest. Her areas of interest include adolescent medicine, women's health, nutrition and fitness.


 

...   ...
 

Looking for a Doctor?

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is a leader in caring for people of all ages, from newborns through older adults.

Just phone (888) 352-RUSH or (888) 352-7874 for help finding the doctor at Rush who's right for you.

Looking for More Health Information?

Visit Discover Rush's Web Resource page to find articles on health topics and recent health news from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. You will also find many helpful links to other areas of our site.

Looking for Information About Medical Treatment and Services at Rush?

Visit the Clinical Services home page.

Looking for Clinical Trials at Rush?

Visit the Clinical Trials home page.

...   ...

 

Promotional Information

Past Issues
Discover Rush Winter 2009
Easy as 1, 2, 3 ... RICE small injuries

   
Find a Doctor | Patient & Visitor Services | Health Information
Clinical Services | Events & Classes | Rush News Room | Clinical Trials
Research At Rush
Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Site Map

© Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois