Initially following an injury such as a knee sprain, twisted ankle or other related injuries, the RICE method is an effective way to manage pain. While implementing this method, aside from pain management, swelling can also decrease.
RICE Method Steps:
Immediately rest the injured area.
Ice is essential in minimizing swelling and should be applied for no more than 20 minutes a few times a day for 48 to 72 hours. As the swelling minimizes, replace ice with heat to the injured area.
When ice is not being applied, an elastic bandage can help to reduce the swelling and provide support to the injured area. If numbness, tingling, and pain occur, the bandage may be too tight and would need to be adjusted.
Elevate the injured area. Rest the injured area on a pillow and make sure it remains above the level of the heart.
What To Do After the RICE Method?
Following the RICE method, and once the pain and swelling have subsided, begin by implementing light stretches and exercises to improve the functionality of the injured area.
When To Seek Further Treatment
Although the RICE method may be effective for some injuries, it is always best to keep an eye out for these symptoms which could indicate something more serious:
- Extreme pain, swelling and bruising
- Discolored skin surrounding the affected area
- Angulation or the area may be bent or crooked at an obscure angle
- You are experiencing severe pain and cannot apply weight to the injured body part
- Inability to move the affected bone, joint or body part
- You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury
When To Consult An Orthopedic Specialist
Seeking care from an orthopedic specialist is advised when:
- You cannot walk without feeling significant pain
- Your limb buckles or gives way when you try to use the joint
- You have numbness in any part of the injured area
- Aching in the joint, followed by periods of relative relief
- The area surrounding the injured joint is very tender to touch
- Joint stiffness after periods of inactivity or rest
- Pain after extensive use
- Loss of motion
- You are in doubt about the seriousness of the injury or how to care for it
Contact AICA Orthopedics for any sports-related injury that is leaving you with pain or discomfort. Our highly skilled Atlanta orthopedic doctors will be able to provide you with the most effective treatment options to get you back on your feet. Dial (404)855-2141 to schedule an appointment today!