Sports Therapy – For Minor Injuries, RICE Is What You Need!
At our Vancouver sports therapy clinic, we often see patients come in with conditions that wouldn’t have needed a professional evaluation if they had been a little more careful. A lot of sports injuries start off small, but become worse due to poor treatment.
If you experience a very minor sports injury, such as mild strains, light sprains, or bruising, there usually is no need to have it treated by sports therapy professionals. However, to prevent the injury from getting worse, remember one simple word from Burrard Physiotherapy: RICE.
The RICE Method of Treating Minor Sports Injuries
RICE stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Following these four simple steps will allow you to quickly overcome basic injuries, and without the need for professional intervention.
Rest: The worst thing one can do for an injury is to keep working out like nothing is wrong. That can only make it worse. If you experience a minor sprain or strain, taking a few days off to let it heal will prevent any further damage.
Ice: While medications such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, such as aspirin or Aleve) can help, basic ice is still best for treating minor injuries. Don’t leave the ice on too long! Alternate fifteen minutes on/fifteen minutes off for best results.
Compression: Wrap the affected area in a moderately-tight elastic bandage, such as an ACE bandage, to keep swelling low. Apply the ice above the bandage layer, to avoid direct skin contact.
Elevation: Try to keep the affected area elevated above the level of your heart. This also helps prevent too much blood from rushing to the area, as well as encouraging blood from broken blood vessels nearby to drain away from the area.
Finally, avoid HARM. Aside from ignoring the problem, these are the four activities which will actively deter healing: Heat, Alcohol, Running (or other exercise), and Massaging. Heat and massaging can actually increase damage to the area by breaking more blood vessels.
If the Problem Doesn’t Subside Soon, Seek Help
If the RICE method does not cause significant improvements to the problem area within 48 hours, that’s usually a sign of more serious injury. In such cases, you should contact a professional sports therapy clinic in Vancouver to have the injury checked by clinical therapists.
Contact Burrard Physiotherapy today for a full evaluation!