RICER means: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral – these are essential elements for a quick recovery from injury.
Managing a Soft Tissue Injury with R.I.C.E.R.
R = Rest
Rest reduces further damage. Avoid as much movement as possible to limit further injury. You may need to reduce weight on the injured part of the body.
I = Ice
Apply ice to your injury for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Continue this treatment for the first 48 -72 hours. Ice cools the tissue and reduces pain, swelling and bleeding. Ice can burn if its too cold, take care.
Apply a bandage covering the injured area as well as the areas above and below. Compression reduces bleeding and swelling. Do not have the compression too tight.
E = elevation
Elevate the injured area to stop bleeding and swelling. Place the injured area on a pillow for comfort and support.
R = referral
See your physiotherapist for precise diagnosis and ongoing care and treatment.
Remember to AVOID the following H.A.R.M. factors
H = HEAT
Saunas, spas and hot water bottles all increase bleeding to the injury site.
A = ALCOHOL
Alcohol increases swelling.
R = RUNNING
Any form of exercise can make the injury worse as blood flow is increased.
M = MASSAGE
Massage to the injury site in the first 72 hours increases internal bleeding.