If you have an injury: RICE
I = Ice
C = Compression
E = Elevation
You should apply the RICE method in the 24 hours immediately following injury in order to relieve pain and reduce the extent of swelling (inflammation). The RICE method should not be used if you have Raynaud ’s disease, diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.
Stop activity. With an injury to the leg, this may mean having to use crutches.
Apply ice for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours initially and then gradually reduce the frequency of application over the next 24 hours. Methods of applying ice:
- Instant ice packs.
- Crushed ice wrapped in wet towel.
- Packet of frozen peas wrapped in wet towel.
Compression, by the use a compression bandage around the injured area, helps to prevent or reduce swelling. The bandage should be applied firmly but not so tight that the blood is cut off. If applied to a limb, the fingers or toes should remain pink and not become ‘tingly’. Ice can be used over the bandage. Remove the bandage every 3-4 hours and reapply.
Raise the leg above the level of your hip e.g. lie down with your leg propped up on a chair and/or pillows, or the arm in a sling or with the hand on the opposite shoulder.