RICE Treatment for Foot Injuries: A Complete Overview
Sep 09 , 2021
Tags - RICE Treatment for Foot Injuries
If you’ve hurt your foot, like a sprain or a strain, chances are your doctor has recommended RICE as your first treatment.
No, not the stuff you eat, RICE! Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is a simple technique you can use at home that will help reduce swelling, ease pain and make the healing process for your foot injury a lot quicker.
Here are the four steps of RICE:
Step One: Rest
Pain is the most obvious signal that something is wrong.
So when you feel pain in your foot, the first thing to do is stop all physical activity and rest as much as possible - especially for the first two days.
Therefore, avoid putting on any weight and don’t move it unless you have to; following the “no pain, no gain” philosophy can make damage worse and delay recovery. In some cases, you can use splints, braces or crutches where available to give you extra support.
Ultimately, immobilisation prevents further injury and bruising, and gives the body time to recover.
Step Two: Ice
Ice is a tried and tested tool for reducing pain and swelling in foot injuries.
Simply apply an ice pack to the injury for 20 mins, 8 x a day - especially in the first 3 days but never let the ice touch your skin directly. The cold nature of ice reduces pain as it numbs the affected area. And if you don’t have any ice packs, don’t worry - a frozen bag of peas will do the trick!
Step Three: Compression
Compression is more important in the first week of your injury and requires wrapping up the injured area to prevent further swelling. Do this by wrapping a tight bandage that supports the affected area without cutting off blood flow; it needs to be snug but not too tight.
Pressure keeps swelling under control however, if the skin underneath the wrap starts to turn blue, feels cold, numb or even tingly make sure you loosen to the wrap as soon as possible. And if any of these symptoms do not go away, seek immediate help as soon as possible.
Step Four: Elevation
Step four is elevation, which means raising your foot above the level of your heart.
As a result, this will reduce any pain and swelling, and it’s not as hard as you think. All you need to do is elevate the area for 2-3 hours a day and you can do this by propping your legs up on pillows whilst you’re sitting on the sofa. It’s recommended to keep the foot raised whenever you can, even when you’re not icing it.
Injuries RICE can Treat
The RICE method is more useful for mild to moderate injuries like:
- Soft tissue injuries
Usually, people sustain sprains by tripping, falling or twisting the ankle, but repeated movements and lifting heavy objects incorrectly can cause strains.
Unfortunately, RICE is not effective to treat broken bones or other serious injuries to the tissue: this will require medication, physiotherapy and sometimes surgery.
For more information, please get in touch today.
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