Thursday, March 26, 2015


RICE is an acronym used in the sports medicine world. Almost every acute injury is evaluated and then RICE is applied. I’m going to explain RICE, and how it can help in the recovery of an injury.

R: The “R” stand for rest. Rest is the most important thing in any injury situation. When the body gets injured, rest allows the body to heal in a timely manner. If there is no rest there will be no healing. Rest prevents further trauma from occurring.2

I: The “I” stands for ice. Ice is used for two things. The main use of ice is it decreases cell metabolism which allows the cells to survive for a longer period of time with a small amount of oxygen.1 The second use is pain management. This is not always a guarantee, but it is a benefit that can be experienced.

C: The “C” stands for compression. Compression is the use of an ace wrap or a cold pack that is wrapped tightly around the injured area.2 When wrapping the injured area, the wrap should be put on from the distal end to the proximal end to allow the swelling and inflammation to flow towards the body. Compression is used so further swelling and inflammation can be stopped before further injury can occur.

E: The “E” stands for elevation. Elevation decreases the hydrostatic pressure within the capillary beds by reducing capillary outflow to the affected tissue.1 Elevation along with compression is used to control the swelling and inflammation of the injured area. Elevation has its greatest effect when the injured body part is 90 degrees perpendicular to the ground but this is not necessary for a positive effect.1 Generally anything above 45 degrees is sufficient enough to help.

RICE is almost always used after an injury takes place. This practice has been working for many years, and it is still continued to be used across the world. This is a very simple and basic process that is used, but the effects can mean the difference of months and weeks in recovery time.


1Starkey, C. (1999). Thermal Modalities. In Therapeutic modalities (4th ed., pp. 122-123). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

2Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) - Topic Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from


  1. Good, easy way to remember how to recover from an injury. A simple blog like this can be given out to players and parents prior to the season.

  2. The RICE acronym seems easy enough to remember and administer. How often and how long should you administer RICE to an injury and what kind of injuries would you use RICE?