Skip to main content

Gold Coast Health Plan will be closed December 24-25 and January 1.

Starting April 1, 2021, pharmacy services will provided under a new program called Medi-Cal Rx. Learn more (English and Spanish).

Get your FREE flu shot now! Learn more (English and Spanish).

Please select your language.

Selecciona tu idioma.

Health library

Back to health library

Learn more about the R.I.C.E. method.

If you have a mild strain or sprain, try R.I.C.E. Show me how.

Reviewed 11/1/2020

Treating sports injuries. Mild strains and sprains can benefit from initial treatment at home using the R.I.C.E. method.

Using the R.I.C.E. method is a good first treatment for mild sprains or strains. The benefits include pain relief, reduced inflammation and faster healing.

Start R.I.C.E. right after a mild sprain or strain. Continue for at least 48 hours.

Keep scrolling to learn how to use R.I.C.E.

REST

  • Reduce your activity as needed.
  • Use crutches if you need to.

ICE

  • Put ice on right away to keep the swelling down.
  • Use ice for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times a day.
  • You can use a cold pack, an ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel.

COMPRESSION

  • Compress the injured area to keep the swelling down and support the injured area.
  • You can use elastic wraps, air casts, splints or special boots.
  • ELEVATION

    • Keep the injured area elevated on a pillow above the level of your heart, if possible. This will help reduce swelling.

    GET HELP IF:

    • The injury causes severe pain, swelling or numbness.
    • You can't put any weight on the injured area.
    • The pain or ache of an old injury is accompanied by increased swelling or joint abnormality or instability.
    • Pain or other symptoms worsen after using R.I.C.E.

    NEED CRUTCHES AFTER AN INJURY? FIND OUT HOW TO USE THEM SAFELY.

    GET SAFETY TIPS

    Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

    Related stories