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RICE is a treatment method for soft tissue injury which is an abbreviation for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When used appropriately, recovery time is usually shortened and discomfort minimized.RICE is for soft tissue strains and is considered more a first-aid treatment than an end-all cure. The aim is to reduce the internal bleeding.
Primary four terms
RestRest is a key part of repair. Without rest, continual strain is placed on the area, leading to increased inflammation, pain, and possible further injury. Without rest, most soft tissue injuries will take far longer to heal. There is also a risk of abnormal repair or chronic inflammation resulting from a failure to rest. In general, the rest should be until the patient is able to use the limb with the majority of function restored and pain essentially gone.
IceIce is excellent at reducing the inflammatory response and the pain from heat generated. Proper usage of ice can reduce the destruction over-response which can result from inflammation. A good method is ice every 20 minutes of each hour, for a 24-48 hour period. To prevent localised ischemia to the skin, it is recommended that the ice be placed within a towel before wrapping around the area. It should be noted that exceeding the recommended time for ice application may be detrimental, as blood flow will be too reduced to allow nutrient delivery and waste removal.
CompressionCompression aims to reduce the edematous swelling that results from the inflammatory process. Although some swelling is inevitable, over swelling results in significant loss of function, excessive pain and eventual slowing of blood flow through vessel restriction.An elastic bandage, rather than a firm plastic bandage (such as zinc-oxide tape) is required. Usage of a tight, non-elastic bandage will result in reduction of adequate blood flow, potentially seeing ischemia. The fit should be snug so as to not move freely, but still allow expansion for when muscles contract and fill with blood.
ElevationElevation aims to reduce swelling by increasing venous return of blood to the systemic circulation. This will not only result in less oedema, but also aid in waste product removal from the area.
Variations Variations of the acronym are sometimes used, to emphasize additional steps that should be taken. These include:
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