by Kris Pitcher
I don't know if you've noticed it...but it's weekend-warrior season. Summer weather sends the masses out into the wilderness, or where ever they go, in pursuit of recreation.
I thought it might be appropriate to have a RICE review. We're not talking about carbohydrates here. We're talking about Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It's our first line of defense when we've gone too far.
Rest doesn't mean keep water skiing for the rest of the weekend. It means stop what you are doing. As in, discontinue the activity. This is a difficult concept. But I know you're smart. You get it. Please tell me you get this?
Ice is next. Icing reduces the spread of inflammation. Injury can actually spread via inflammation. We want to get it under control. Always have a barrier between your skin and the ice pack. Ice for 20 minutes on/off in cycles. We want to keep this going for 72 hours. This doesn't translate into, "get into the hot tub". Controlling the inflammation right away will have you on the road to recovery faster. Always use a barrier.
Compression. Wrapping the area with an ACE bandage works nicely. It's important to compress, not constrict. Many of the new ice packs come in neoprene sleeves which act to compress at the same time. Love those! We always have these in the freezer at our house.
E is for elevation. Elevating the arm or leg above the level of the heart is especially important in an acute injury. At the onset of an injury we want to reduce swelling and blood pooling in the area.
Now you know how to treat an injury in the first 72 hours. It's important to begin RICE treatment at the onset, and as ongoing treatment of a soft tissue injury. Get out there and have some fun. Just be prepared and know how to handle an injury situation. That's your - RICE review!