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