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Acute Sports Injuries

Most sports injuries can be treated at home with the RICE approach. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest – Stop or greatly reduce activity that might affect the injured area. Weight-bearing activity on joints in the leg may need to be assisted with crutches.
  • Ice – Put a cold pack of a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen vegetables on the injury for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Compression – An elastic compression from a pharmacy will help reduce swelling and provide mild support.
  • Elevation – Recline as you rest and elevate the injury above your heart.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen will help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Symptoms like pain and swelling that persist should be examined by a doctor. Untreated injuries could lead to permanent damage or disability. Doctors may prescribe a more specific brace or cast for minor injuries and may order advanced testing if they suspect a more serious problem.

Previous Page Last Review Date: January 4, 2018
Acute Sports Injuries Team
Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Orthopaedic Surgery, Shoulder, Knee & Hip Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine
Boca Raton 33428