RICE……..Not Just the San Francisco Treat.

In a nation where participation in outdoor activities is rising exponentially, it is only natural that the rate of injuries related to these activities is also on the rise. Injuries to the foot, ankle, or leg are probably more common than those to the upper extremity. If you unfortunately suffer from an injury to the lower extremity, and it isnt severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention, there are some important things you can do in the early stages to speed your recovery.

All you need to remember is RICE. No, I am not telling you cook up a steaming bowl of rice, although that doesnt sound so bad. RICE is a pneumonic which stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

The best way to practice the art of RICE!

Rest the first thing you should do is to stop whatever activity you are doing and then make plans to reduce your activity level so as not too aggravate the injury.

Ice if the injury results in swelling, application of ice can help reduce that swelling. If placing ice on the injury hurts, ice can be placed at a higher level. For example, if the injury is to the forefoot, you can apply ice to the ankle. If the injury is to the ankle, you can apply ice behind the knee. I recommend ice application for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

  • Note: please do not place the ice directly on the skin. Wrap it in a towel to avoid potential cold injury.

Compression the use of compression is to either inhibit or reduce swelling. An ACE bandage is a great method, but there is always risk in applying too tightly. If after you apply an ACE wrap you notice your toes beginning to turn purple/blue or your foot is becoming extremely painful, you might have applied the bandage too tight and will need to loosen the bandage.

Elevation elevation is also another method in inhibiting OR reducing swelling. The goal is to elevate the foot/leg to the level of your heart. Typically, 2 pillows are enough to provide adequate elevation.

If you have recently suffered an injury to your foot/ankle/leg OR have other foot related concerns, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit his practice, Houston Foot Specialists, on the web.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Sports Injuries

Tags: ankle injuries, Foot Injuries, Leg Injuries, RICE, Swelling