We are often asked as athletic trainers the proper way to treat acute injuries, such as ankle sprains, muscle strains and soft tissue injuries. The method most often used is the RICE technique (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). The amount of time that we use ice on an injury is twenty minutes on, forty minutes off; repeat it four times a day. We have found that not only the use of cold, but also elevation, are the most important aspects of this technique.
There are several home techniques that one can use for administration of cold in the treatment acute injuries, the favorite being the use of frozen vegetables such as, a bag of frozen peas applied to the injury, as the bag is pliable and will form to the injury, such as the ankle or knee, and can be used repeatedly when frozen. Another technique for the use of cold is to take a quart zip lock bag, and in the bag add equal amounts of water and rubbing alcohol and place in freezer until the contents become “slushy”. This technique works well also, as the water and alcohol will not freeze but will get cold, and can be molded around the injury, and once again used repeatedly. (See here for details)
Remember the RICE technique (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) in the treatment of acute injuries. If you have any other questions, please call or contact us!