Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Aid: RICE

RICE is a treatment that can be done for soft tissue injuries such as sprains, bruises, strains. It also works well on pulled muscles and muscle spasms. RICE treatment reduces inflammation that comes with acute injury, inflammation that causes redness, heat, swelling and pain. The earlier the treatment, the earlier and better the results.

R: Rest
the injured area. If moving the injured area causes pain, your body is telling you to stop.

I: Ice
applied to the injured area will help to reduce swelling. Swelling causes more pain and slows healing. A package of frozen corn or peas makes a good ice pack. It is lightweight, conforms to the injured area, and is inexpensive and reusable. Cover the ice pack with a wet cloth and apply the ice for 10 to 30 minutes intermittently for 48 to 72 hours.

C: Compression
or use of a pressure bandage, also helps to prevent or reduce swelling. Use an elastic bandage. Wrap the injured area with the bandage, but not so tightly that the blood is cut off. It should not be painful. Fingers or toes beyond the bandage should remain pink and not become "tingly."

E: Elevation
means raising the injured area above the level of the heart. Prop up a leg or arm while resting it. You may need to lie down to get your leg above your heart level. Elevation may also reduce the throbbing pain that may be present.



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