There’s no way you’ll talk about sports and exercise that you won’t talk about injuries. Yes, most injuries are usually sports-related.
A study has reported that sports are responsible for about 50% of all musculoskeletal injuries that have been sustained.
Immediately after a leg injury (or other types such as knee or ankle sprain), you can relieve pain and swelling and encourage healing and flexibility with R.I.C.E; Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
As a matter of fact, R.I.C.E treatment is a prominent supporter for sports trainers and other athletic health experts. It is an acronym for treating injuries, and doctors often recommend this type of treatment when a person has soft tissue injuries. These soft tissue injuries are; tendon, ligament, or muscle.
We have described in this article the effective way of using R.I.C.E. to treat a leg injury. Read on to know its usefulness.
The R.I.C.E treatment method
R.I.C.E means; rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you take the simple steps of the method for your leg injury, sprain, or other similar injuries, it can help you recover quickly and get back to your everyday activities.
Read the steps below to learn how to treat your injury with R.I.C.E;
Step #1: Rest
You need to immediately rest and protect the injured area as much as possible. First, you should stop, change, or take a break from anything you’re doing that may cause your pain or soreness.
For proper resting, experts recommend 24 to 48 hours of rest with no weight-bearing activities. The continued use of moderately or severely injured legs or sprains can delay healing, increase pain, or even aggravate the injury.
Step #2: Ice
Placing ice on an injury during the first 48 hours after the incident will reduce pain and swelling. Ice the area for 20 minutes at every time interval for 4 hours, using an ice pack covered in a towel.
If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen corn, peas, or other veggies. Do not ice the injury for more than 20 minutes at a time because it may cause further tissue damage.
Step #3: Compression
Using an elastic bandage, such as Kinesio tape, on the injured leg will help decrease swelling and internal bleeding (if it’s there). Let the wrapping be loose so as not to cause more swelling below the affected area.
If you’re wrapping the bandage and notice it getting tight, loosen it immediately. Some signs can help you know if the bandage is getting too tight. They are; numbness, tingling, coolness, increased pain or swelling below the bandage.
Speak to a doctor if you need to wrap the bandage for longer than 48 hours to 72 hours because this may indicate that the injury is more serious.
Step #4: Elevation
Elevate or raise the injured area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you’re lying or sitting down. Keep the area at or above the heart level so that gravity can move fluids away from the injured area, thereby minimising swelling.
If you’ve tried the R.I.C.E method but still experiencing no improvement, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.