Health libraryBack to health library
Learn more about the R.I.C.E. method.
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.
- Reduce your activity as needed.
- Use crutches if you need to.
- 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.
- 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.
Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Sprained Ankle." https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/sprained-ankle.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Sprains, Strains and Other Soft-Tissue Injuries." https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/sprains-strains-and-other-soft-tissue-injuries.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "Sports Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Steps to Take." https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries/diagnosis-treatment-and-steps-to-take.