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Using the R.I.C.E procedure to treat sports injuries
The R.I.C.E. procedure is used for injuries to bones, joints, and muscles. Though this treatment can be used for anyone it is popular in sports injuries. The steps to this procedure are so simple that anyone can do them and it makes for a quick treatment on the side of the court or field when an athlete does get injured.
A Description Of R.I.C.E.
R.I.C.E. Is actually an acronym. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. You will see examples of R.I.C.E. When watching sports live or on television. Using this technique at home, or if you suffer any injuries from fitness, jogging or running, can be greatly helpful also. The idea behind each step of R.I.C.E. Is as follows:
Rest- It is believed that people can heal from injuries much faster if they take time to rest. Rest also means resting the injured area. If you hurt a joint, muscle or bone in your leg you should stay off your leg, or use something like crutches or a wheel chair to give that area a rest.
Ice- Immediately apply an ice pack to the injured area. Ice the area for about twenty to thirty minutes at a time, giving the skin time to warm back up to normal temperature in between. Repeat for about two hours. Crushed ice can be placed in a plastic baggie (doubled) or in a wet wash cloth, if you do not have an actual ice pack.
Compression- Adding compression to the injured area can help keep swelling down. This is done by wrapping an elastic bandage around the area. This also can help prevent, or stop, internal bleeding. Be sure not to apply the bandage too tightly, as it can cut off circulation.
Elevation- Elevate your injured area so that your blood has a chance to run back to the heart and out of the injury. Legs are easy to prop up, just grab a foot stool. Add a stack of pillows next to you to prop up an arm. The injured area needs to be sitting higher than the heart, so laying down is ideal.
Types Of Injuries R.I.C.E. Is Used For
Implement the R.I.C.E. Procedures for injuries of the feet, ankles, knees, thighs, hands and elbows. These types of injuries are common in athletes and people who get a lot of physical activity. Athletes of all kinds are susceptible, both professionals and students.
What R.I.C.E. Does And What To Do After
Immediate application of R.I.C.E. can keep down swelling, but it is not a cure for the injury. If you have an injury that continues to hurt it is important to see a doctor. You may have suffered from just a sprain, or it could be worse, like a fracture or a break.
Dangers Related To Using R.I.C.E. Procedures
Never apply ice for more than twenty to thirty minutes at a time, as it can cause frostbite. Do not apply ice to the back of the knee area, as it can cause nerve damage. If the injury comes with an open wound R.I.C.E. Should be bypassed and the injured person should be taken directly to the hospital (especially if bone is showing).
As a student of health and wellness I have experienced the use of R.I.C.E. Both through school and in the real world.
Resource: First Aid And CPR, 2001
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