Foot or Ankle Injury? RICE Is What the Doctor Ordered

No it isn’t wrapping your feet with sushi paper, submerging your feet in stir fry or rolling your foot on Boudin balls! So what does your doctor mean when he says to use “RICE” therapy?

RICE is a common acronym for:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Compression
  4. Elevation

“RICE” therapy is commonly used in the treatment of sprains, strains and other minor injuries. It is also used as a supplemental treatment after surgeries.

This concept is an attempt to reduce inflammation to injured areas. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. Think of it like how our nation responds to natural disasters like Super Storm Sandy that ripped through the Northeast recently. In response to the damage we sent thousands of relief workers to the damages areas. Similarly our bodies send thousands of inflammatory cells to help “clean up” the disaster. This response of the body sending blood cells to the area is known as inflammation and it in itself is very painful.

The purpose of “RICE” therapy is to conservatively reduce the painful inflammation.

Rest: this is important so as to not further any damage and increase inflammation.

Ice: cold temperature causes the blood vessels in the skin and damaged tissue to contract-reducing the amount of inflammatory fluid to the injury site.

Compression: by wrapping with an ACE bandage the fluid is squeezed from the area so as to not accumulate and swell.

Elevation: like a river flows downhill from a mountain, inflammatory blood and body fluid follow gravity. With an elevated limb, the inflammation has a harder time “climbing” uphill to cause swelling.

All of these modalities try to reduce inflammatory swelling that causes pain associated with injury or surgery.

So warm up some cinnamon flavored rice milk, enjoy some rice cakes, watch some Rice Owl football and get your “RICE” therapy on!

If you have suffered any type of injury to your foot or ankle, contact Dr. Bowman right away by calling (713) 467-8886 or check out our website for more information and online appointments at

Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
1140 Business Center Dr. #510
Houston, TX. 77043

Category: Foot Health

Tags: ankle injuries, ankle pain, ankle sprain, Foot Injuries, foot pain, RICE Therapy, Sports Injuries