There is no question we will all pull a muscle or sprain a joint at some point in our life.  So the question is what should you do after this type of injury?  The answer is a simple acronym called RICE. 

“R” is for REST.  Rest doesn’t mean do nothing but lie in bed for the next two weeks.  Instead, rest can be as simple as modifying your activity to avoid aggravating the injury.  So you may need to do things a little different, ask for help with certain tasks, and let your supervisor know about your injury so they can assign you modified duty if available.

“I” is for ICE.  The body naturally swells in the injured area, which causes pain.  Ice helps reduce the swelling and numbs the area, reducing pain and spasms.  You should ice after an injury, the sooner the better.  Continue to ice 10-20 minutes several times per day for the first 48 to 72 hours.

“C” is for COMPRESSION.  If you have considerable swelling in an injured joint, an ACE wrap can be applied to help reduce the swelling and prevent additional swelling.  Wear the ACE wrap during the day until the swelling is reduced.

“E” is for Elevate.  Elevating the injured area can help reduce swelling also.  Try to elevate the area while icing and any time you are sitting and resting.

Using the RICE technique will help reduce the swelling and pain which will allow your body to begin the healing process.  You also need to get enough sleep, eat healthy and drink enough water to give your body what it needs to heal itself.

If you have any questions or don’t feel like you are getting better, don’t hesitate to contact your physician. Madonna TherapyPlus offers individualized physical therapy programs to help you recover from a sprain or strain faster.