R.I.C.E. Therapy After Injuries - Olathe Chiropractic

R.I.C.E. Therapy After Injuries

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RICE Therapy

RICE Therapy (R.I.C.E.) is a long-standing treatment method for  immediate injury–and no, we aren’t talking about a bag of rice here. You can significantly reduce your  symptoms you have following an injury by applying this tried-and-true method.

R.I.C.E. stands for “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.” To get the best results from this therapy method, follow the guidelines below.  Adopting the R.I.C.E. protocol is a good first response to injury, but the second thing you should be doing is calling medical professional for an evaluation.

Why Use RICE Therapy

RICE therapy is appropriate for acute musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains and strains.By reducing inflammation, swelling and pain following injury, you can help facilitate the healing process and make yourself more comfortable.

Not only can RICE Therapy shorten your recovery time, but it also has been shown to decrease pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, swelling and tissue damage. The four parts of RICE therapy can be done together, separately or in any combination.


Rest requires self-discipline when you are an active person, but a vital part of avoiding more serious injuries. Rest also enables your body to heal so you can return to what you love to do more quickly.

Rest does not require that you remain completely inactive.  Preserving as much strength and mobility as possible of the affected soft tissues can help you return to what you love to do.  Movement also helps decrease swelling. Just make sure that you aren’t doing too much so that your recovering tissues and muscles can keep up! One of our experienced staff members at Olathe Chiropractic can help you determine what kinds of stress your tissues can handle for a faster recovery.


Ice stimulates vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the area being iced. This aids in reducing swelling and inflammation by restricting the amount of fluid able to enter into the soft tissue at the injury site. Ice also helps numb the affected area resulting in less pain.  

Use ice correctly to avoid injury.   Ice should be applied to the injury site for 15-20 minutes, every couple of hours in the first forty-eight hours after the injury occurred. Wrap ice in a damp towel or cloth to prevent superficial nerve or skin damage caused by overexposure to the ice.

When Should You Use Heat?

When to apply heat to an injury is a common question we hear.  Ice should be used first to reduce the inflammatory reaction following an acute injury. After 72 hours, the major benefits from icing will decrease and the effects of heat will be better than the effects of ice. Heat encourages increased circulation, relaxes muscle tension and reduces joint stiffness. It also helps with tissue rehabilitation.


Ace bandages, a brace, a compression sock, or tape are great tools for compression. Compression helps with swelling and securing the injured area.

Don’t compress too much–you don’t want to restrict blood circulation by having the site wrapped too tightly. Decreased blood flow will trigger a whole range of other problems. When wrapping, allow for expansion that results from swelling. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage.


When you talk about elevating an injured area, the goal is to get it to a level above your heart.  This height allows gravity to drain the excess fluid from around the injured tissue back to the central circulation and reduce swelling. Relieving the pressure around the injured area will lessen your pain and also allow cellular waste products to move towards the heart helping promote tissue recovery by restarting cellular homeostasis.

Stretch and Use Caution When Returning to Activity

The absence of soreness and pain doesn’t mean that you don’t need to exercise caution.  Stretching and strengthening exercises should be approached slowly and carefully as you return to regular movements.  A member of our Olathe Chiropractic team can help design a post- injury exercise plan to ease you back into the game carefully.

Call for a Consultation!

If you have suffered from a recent injury, don’t hesitate reach out to a member of our team to gain the  individual treatment strategy you need. Olathe Chiropractic is dedicated to offering our patients non-invasive, drug-free therapies, with professional nutritional and lifestyle methods to facilitate healing.

Call (913) 732-0087 now for a FREE Consultation, Consultations can be done online, via the phone, or in person.

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