Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE)

Last Updated: November 2023

One of the most common ways for people to relieve pain or aid recovery is by implementing the RICE protocol. This at-home-treatment is very effective at alleviating the symptoms of small injuries and can go some way to aiding your recovery. But what exactly is RICE, and how does it help?

RICE is an acronym from the words Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation:


So often injuries and niggles are caused by overuse of a certain limb or movement. Pain, at times, can be a defence mechanism from the body. It is a signal saying ‘what you are doing is bad, please stop’. This is why simple rest, allowing your body to recover, can often go a long way into helping recover from small aches and pains.


When you do hurt yourself your body will often flood the area with fluid to try and protect it. This is why sprained joints swell up. Ice is a natural remedy for helping you to dissipate the swelling, allowing you to get back moving, and speeding up the recovery process. Try using a bag of ice, or frozen peas, wrapped in a towel and placed on the area for 30 seconds on, 1 minute off for roughly half an hour.


Compression adds support and helps reduce swelling in the affected area. Make sure that the compression isn’t too tight (look for swelling on either side of the wrap or a tingling sensation underneath).


When at rest try and elevate the injured limb or joint. Along with compression and elevation, this will help to reduce swelling and speed up the recovery process. Ideally, the limb needs to be higher than your heart.

RICE is most effective when used against mild injuries. If, after applying the RICE protocol for a few days, you are still struggling then your injury may be more severe than first realised. In this case, it is worth contacting a professional chiropractor.

We employ a range of remedies including chiropractic treatment, cold laser therapy, massage and chiropody to treat issues and injuries. To find out how we can help you just give us a call on 0113 2383693 today.

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