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Participating in sports is rewarding and exciting, but it can also be risky. That’s because injuries happen suddenly—when someone falls, receives a blow, or twists a joint. Called acute injuries, they are the result of a single traumatic event to soft tissue. And they happen whether you’re part of an organized sport or a more casual athlete.
Fortunately, many of those injuries, while painful, don’t have to have devastating consequences. And knowing how to treat them at home can help you recover faster. Town Center Orthopaedics explains how using the RICE treatment can play a significant role in your healing.
When you have a soft tissue injury such as a sprain, strain, or bruise, the RICE treatment is often the first treatment often recommended by us at Town Center Orthopaedics.
RICE stands for Rest Ice Compression and Elevation, and it encompasses many of the treatment steps for the first 48 hours after an injury:
Most people can easily follow RICE at home for a couple of days to help reduce swelling and get them on the road to recovery.
Depending on the damage, swelling can last anywhere from several days to several weeks.
A fact about swelling: it occurs when the immune system rushes white blood cells, proteins, antibodies, and fluids to the injury site. The excess fluid helps protect the damaged tissues from additional injury. But too much swelling may slow healing, which is why doctors recommend RICE to help control the swelling. Your doctor may also advise you to take a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and reduce the pain.
Once you start to see some improvement in the swelling or the pain, you should be careful with your movements so that you don’t incur more damage or suffer a setback. Continue to follow any orders you may have been given. Depending on the severity of the damage, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, massage, or exercise to help you get stronger. Follow their recommendations about resuming sports or other activities.
Most soft tissue injuries will heal on their own, but you should see a Town Center Orthopaedics specialist if you:
If you experience an acute injury like a sprain or strain, connect with Town Center Orthopaedics first. Then, you can relax knowing that you’ll receive high-quality, patient-centered, state-of-the-art orthopedic care. Your best outcome is our top priority.
Request an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Ashburn, Centreville, Fairfax, and Reston, Virginia. We’ll get you set up right away and back to enjoying your life quickly.
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