Ice the injury.,
Apply heat therapy.,
Use compression therapy.,
Elevate the injury.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.NSAIDs are available in both over-the-counter and prescription-strength forms. Be sure to let your physician know if you are taking NSAIDs. NSAID use has been linked to increased risk of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Common NSAIDs include:Aspirin (should not be given to children or teenagers)
, Ice therapy is a common treatment for injuries, as the cold helps reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.Ice should not be applied directly to the skin. Instead, you can wrap ice cubes in a clean dish towel, or use a frozen cold compress.
Apply a cold compress or ice pack for no more than 20 minutes, then remove the cold for 20 minutes before reapplying.Repeat as needed throughout the day. Discontinue use if the area becomes numb or if the ice causes pain.Ice therapy is most effective during the first 48 hours after an injury; however, you can continue to ice an injury for as long as the swelling and inflammation persist., Ice therapy is most effective for the first two days after an injury, as it helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Once swelling is down, experts recommend switching to heat therapy. Applying heat to an injury increases blood flow, which helps the injury heal. Heat can also help relax tight or aching muscles and joints.Much like ice therapy, most experts recommend applying heat therapy for 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off before reapplying.Take a warm shower or bath to help soak an injury.Use a heat wrap or heating pad to treat the injury with “dry” heat. These are available at most pharmacies and drug stores.Do not lie down or fall asleep with heating pads or heating wraps. These can cause serious burns if left on for prolonged periods of time. Remove the source of heat if you become uncomfortably warm, and do not use heat therapy on unsupervised children.Never use health therapy if you have an open wound or poor circulation.
, Compression can help reduce or limit swelling following an injury. It can also provide some support, if the injury is in a part of the body that requires a range of motion. Common methods of compression therapy include elastic bandages and trainer’s tape.
Do not wrap/tie a compress on too tightly. This may reduce blood flow, which can be dangerous.
, Slightly elevating an injured appendage can help reduce swelling by limiting blood flow to the injury. Elevation can be used in conjunction with compression and ice therapies.
Do not raise the injured appendage too high. Ideally the injured appendage should be raised slightly above the level of the heart. If this is not possible, try to keep the injured body part parallel to the ground, rather than at a downward angle.
Elevation is the last step of RICE therapy, which is recommended for many injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.