Science Bit

RICE Treatment Method

by Liz Admin on Feb 21, 2018


The R.I.C.E technique involves all the components that are needed to prevent further injury to the damaged site immediately after the injury has been sustained. If applied correctly and in time the R.I.C.E technique can greatly reduce the recovery time. The R.I.C.E technique is the gold standard treatment of acute sporting injuries. The most important time in the treatment of acute sporting injuries is the first 24-48 hours.

The letters R.I.C.E are abbreviations for:


Rest from any activity that increases your pain. It is also important to avoid activity that causes an increase in pain or ache even after rest following the activity (such as the next night or morning). Ideally lie down in a comfortable position to minimise bleeding, swelling and further damage. Rest may also involve the use of crutches, a protective brace, supportive taping or the use of a sling, etc.


Ice the injured area for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Use an ice pack wrapped in fabric. (N.B. People who are sensitive to cold or have circulatory problems should proceed with caution when implementing ice treatment).


Compress the injured area with an elasticated sleeve/wrap to help minimise swelling. If after applying the wrap/sleeve you experience pins and needles, numbness or any colour change in your extremities (e.g. foot or hand), the sleeve is too tight and is most likely restricting the circulation. It must, therefore, be loosened or even completely removed. You should also take off your elasticated sleeve before sleeping.


Elevate the injured area above the level of your heart (provided this does not cause an increase in pain) for as long as possible to minimise bleeding and swelling. Elevation can be achieved by lying down with foot on a cushion, or similar.