R.I.C.E. for Sports Injury Therapy

Sports injuries happen all the time, especially within sports that are known for aggression and competition. Its quite difficult to avoid certain sports injuries, so seasoned athletes and sports participants should know what to do in the event of an injury. Its important to act quickly and apply the correct first aid when an injury occurs because this may prevent the injury from becoming worse and causing real problems down the line.

If injuries are treated incorrectly it may actually be worse than no treatment at all. Just imagine a person trying to pop an elbow back into its socket when the actual problem is a broken bone, and you can easily understand how incorrect treatment can make things go from relatively minor to quite dangerous.

You have probably heard of the term R.I.C.E. This acronym stands for the series of event you should go through whenever a sports injury occurs. Of course, there are times when a sports injury merits rushing to the hospital for evaluation from a doctor, but most of the time a sports injury is something you may be able to treat yourself or at least evaluate for a couple of days before making the decision that medical care is necessary. To make sure you are treating your sports injuries correctly, commit this to your mind: R.I.C.E.: Rest, ice, compression, elevation.


“Rest” refers to resting the injured body part, and does not necessarily refer to resting in the sense of heading to bed to go to sleep for a while. If you are jogging and all of a sudden you start experiencing shooting pains in your foot, you should first rest your foot. This means stop jogging; dont put pressure on the foot, and see if merely resting the foot makes the pain go away.

Pain is not always a solid indicator of an actual injury, as most athletes and sports participants know. Sometimes pain just seems to occur and then vanish, with seemingly no reason attached. This is not to say that you should ignore pain when participating in physical activities, but you may find that after resting the pain is gone and there is no more injury to treat.


“Ice” refers to placing an ice pack or something else cold on the injured body part. Using the same scenario of a painful foot, while resting the foot you might place an ice pack on it to see if this helps it to feel better. Ice is especially important when swelling and bruising is involved because the cold ice may minimize bruising and help the swelling to go down.


“Compression” refers to placing pressure on the injured part, if appropriate. Compression is a great idea there is any blood involved because it can help stop the bleeding. Compression may be too painful with some injuries.


“Elevation” simply refers to lifting the body part up, preferable above the heart. This slows the blood flow to the injured area and also can minimize bleeding, if present. Follow R.I.C.E. every time you have a sports injury to minimize further damage.