The Meaning of Rice

You’ve probably heard of medical professionals or even personal trainers recommending rice treatment for certain injuries. If you’ve never heard of it before, your first thought might be that you’re supposed to do something with actual kernels of rice – crazy visions of applying exotic grains to your ankle to draw out the pain swirl through your mind. But no – rice is actually RICE, an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

RICE is the conventional way to begin treatment for certain injuries such as muscle or ligament strains or sprains.

Rest means to stop all movement, giving the affected area time to heal.

ICE means to apply cold to the area, which will relieve pain and reduce any swelling. Apply ice at least three times a day for about 20 minutes. Don’t apply the ice directly to your skin – put a cloth between your skin and the ice.

Compression means to wrap the area with an elastic bandage firmly but not tightly. Loosen the bandage if you experience tingling, numbness, or skin color changes in the area.

Elevation means to prop your foot up as much as possible, which is another way to reduce swelling.

There are other ways to treat a strained muscle or a sprained ankle. If home application of RICE doesn’t improve your symptoms within 48-72 hours (2-3 days), contact us at Foot and Ankle Associates of Cleveland. Make an appointment online or call us at (440) 903-1041. Our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey or Dr. Megan L. Otlmann may

  • visually observe your injured foot or ankle to assess the degree of swelling or bruising
  • test your range of motion
  • take x-rays (done right here in our office) to see the extent of the damage and to make sure your haven’t incurred a bone fracture
  • prescribe medications to reduce pain and swelling
  • recommend exercises to promote healing and get your strength back, or surgery to correct a severe injury.