First Aid Training

RICE technique: Ideal treatment for soft issue injuries

Fact Checked

One of the commonly used measures for sports injuries is the RICE technique (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Remember that any injury such as a strain, sprain or muscle tear can greatly benefit from immediate first aid care to prevent any complications as well as promote faster healing.

By using this treatment option, it can relieve pain, reduce the swelling as well as protect the damaged soft tissues.

Treatment for soft tissue injuries

When an individual sustained an injury, the soft tissues that were damaged might swell, bruise or bleed and even become inflamed. The healing process starts as the damaged tissues are replaced by collagen or scar tissue. In most circumstances, the tissues should fully repair itself before the individual continues to play his/her sport.

Close look on the RICE technique


This is an essential part of the treatment to protect the damage muscles, ligaments, tendons or other tissues from further injury. Once damaged, the individual should discontinue activity and protect the affected area from further damage.

Avoid placing extra weight on the affected area and assist the individual to a safe area away from the playing field. Make sure that the injured area is allowed to rest to promote proper healing.

RICE technique
When an ice pack is applied, make sure that it is covered with a thin cloth or towel.

Application of ice

When an ice pack is applied, make sure that it is covered with a thin cloth or towel. An alternative that is equally effective is an ice massage which directs cold to the damaged tissues.

Take note that cold provides momentary relief from pain as well as limits swelling by reducing the flow of blood to the injured area. When using ice on injuries, do not apply the ice pack directly on the skin and do not leave on the area for more than 20 minutes at a time. Prolonged exposure can result to skin damage and even frostbite. A rule to remember when applying cold is to place for 15 minutes and then remove long enough for the skin to regain its warmth.


With the help of compression, it reduces the swelling that can disrupt with the healing process. Some individuals might also experience pain relief from this measure. All you have to do is wrap an ACE bandage around the swollen area. If the wrap is too tight or there is throbbing sensation, remove and re-wrap the area slightly loose.


Raise or elevate the injured area to minimize the swelling. This is highly effective if the affected area is elevated above the level of the heart.

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