Compression Sleeves and the R.I.C.E Treatment

Whether you sustained an injury while playing sports, or if you simply fell into a minor accident, RICE treatment is most probably the first thing any licensed first aid provider, therapist, or health care professional would provide. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation – otherwise called RICE – is the basic treatment given to relieve the initial pain and swelling associated with sprains, strains, and bruises. This is given in the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury and is intended to reduce swelling and initiate the healing process in order for further treatment to be more effective. This also reduces the chances of complications of sports injuries during a game.

More About the RICE Treatment

  1. Rest – If you are injured, it is your body’s way of telling you to take it easy. Running on an injured leg only prolongs the injury, increases inflammation, or exacerbates shin splints. Watch any sporting event and you are bound to see an injured player being assisted to the sidelines immediately after the accident occurs. They are then asked to take a seat as a sports therapist inspects the affected area. This is because any injury can be aggravated by movement, and so it is necessary to first rest the affected area to eliminate the chances of exacerbation. It is also during this time that a specialist is able to properly assess the extent and nature of the injury so as to determine whether RICE treatment is appropriate, or if a different method should be put into use. If professional athletes need to rest, you do too.
  2. Ice – The purpose of ice in the RICE treatment is to reduce the swelling in the area. When a muscle or tendon is torn either partially or completely, the body’s natural reaction is to send blood to the area to begin healing which then causes swelling. Ice is applied to reduce the swelling, reduce the heat, and to numb the area so that the pain becomes more bearable. It is important to keep in mind that ice should never be directly applied onto the skin as this can cause further complications. Instead, wrap the ice in a damp towel and place this for 15 to 20 minutes. Another option is to use your DinoDerm calf sleeves to hold the ice pack against your lower leg or shin so that you can be hands free during your recuperation session.
  3. Compression – Our calf compression sleeves are designed specifically to enhance blood flow and keep your lower leg muscles stable while exercising or simply going about your day. This part of the RICE treatment increases the support so that the injured area is not left limp, and reduces swelling. A compression sleeve can easily be used to wrap around the affected area, but it’s ideal to ensure that the area has some space for blood to circulate, which is why our compression sleeves for calves are tight enough to reduce swelling, but still promote good blood circulation to the area.
  4. Elevation – When an injured body part is kept dangling towards the ground, the blood will pool in the area and cause more swelling. DinoDerm’s graduated compression technology is geared to counteract this effect. That said, it’s ideal that an injured arm or leg is elevated above the heart or at least parallel with the ground to work against gravity pulling blood towards the distal parts of the body.