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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, Sports Medicine
Boca Raton 33433
Fawwaz J. Mohiuddin, MD

Fawwaz J. Mohiuddin, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Fort Lauderdale 33312
Alejandro Posada, MD

Alejandro Posada, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Miami 33133