How About Some R.I.C.E.?!

When you sprain an ankle (or any other joint) the ligaments actually tear (usually just microscopically) and release cellular fluid. This fluid causes swelling in the area and releases inflammatory cells (remember the last post about Omega-3’s) which cause more swelling and pain. In order to quickly return to your activities you need to R.I.C.E. as quick as possible.
Initially, as soon as possible, rest on the couch (or some other comfortable place), this is the “R” portion of the R.I.C.E. principle).

elevate-300x133Then have your best friend (no, not your dog) go to the freezer and grab an ice pack, the “I” portion of the R.I.C.E. principle, and wrap it around the ankle for about 15 minutes.

When you have the ice compression on make sure you elevate the ankle above the level of the heart, the “E” portion of the R.I.C.E. principle.
ankle-wrap-300x190After no more than 15 minutes, remove the ice and apply an ACE bandage around ankle using a Figure 8 technique, the “C” portion of the R.I.C.E. principle.


The R.I.C.E. technique should be performed 3-4 times a day for a sprain. If the pain does not subside with the application of ice, you should be seen by a physician for an x-ray.


Physical Therapy helps you strengthen the muscles around your ankle and improves your tissue proprioception and balance to reduce the chance of this happening again. With Direct Access in California, you can see us at Intecore Physical Therapy immediately after injury to help return to back to your activity quicker!

Andrew Vertson

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