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How should I care for a muscle injury using RICE?

  • REST -- Do not move or straighten the injured area.
  • IMMOBILIZE -- Stabilize the injured area in the position it was found. Splint the injured part only if the person must be moved or transported to receive medical care and it does not cause more pain. Minimizing movement can prevent further injury.
  • COLD -- Fill a plastic bag with ice and water or wrap ice with a damp cloth and apply ice to the injured area for periods of about 20 minutes.
    • Place a thin barrier between the ice and bare skin. If 20-minute icing cannot be tolerated, apply ice for periods of 10 minutes.
    • If continued icing is needed, remove the pack for 20 minutes and then replace it. Place a thin barrier between the ice and bare skin.



    • Cold reduces internal bleeding and swelling. Do not apply heat as there is no evidence that applying heat helps muscle injuries.

  • ELEVATE -- Elevate the injured part only if it does not cause more pain. Elevating the injured part may help reduce swelling.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.