Learn more about the R.I.C.E. method.
Treating sports injuries. Mild strains and sprains can benefit from initial treatment at home using the R.I.C.E. method.
Using the R.I.C.E. method is a good first treatment for mild sprains or strains. The benefits include pain relief, reduced inflammation and faster healing.
Start R.I.C.E. right after a mild sprain or strain. Continue for at least 48 hours.
Keep scrolling to learn how to use R.I.C.E.
- Reduce your activity as needed.
- Use crutches if you need to.
- Put ice on right away to keep the swelling down.
- Use ice for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times a day.
- You can use a cold pack, an ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel.
- Keep the injured area elevated on a pillow above the level of your heart, if possible. This will help reduce swelling.
GET HELP IF:
- The injury causes severe pain, swelling or numbness.
- You can't put any weight on the injured area.
- The pain or ache of an old injury is accompanied by increased swelling or joint abnormality or instability.
- Pain or other symptoms worsen after using R.I.C.E.
NEED CRUTCHES AFTER AN INJURY? FIND OUT HOW TO USE THEM SAFELY.
Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Sprained Ankle." https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/sprained-ankle.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Sprains, Strains and Other Soft-Tissue Injuries." https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/sprains-strains-and-other-soft-tissue-injuries.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "Sports Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Steps to Take." https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries/diagnosis-treatment-and-steps-to-take.