A Moment of Science

Put Some Ice On It

Are you injured? Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation will get you fast results!

Foot injury being treated with an ice pack

Photo: Liesel Elliott (Flickr)

Ice down your injury for a faster recovery.

Have you ever strained a muscle or sprained an ankle? Today we discus one of the simplest medical technologies — ice.

 Stay Cool

Have you ever wondered why you’re supposed to ice injuries? Well, the reason is that cold temperatures cause blood vessels in the injured area to constrict. This translates to less blood flow, which, in its turn, means less swelling.

Ice also helps reduce muscle spasms and dulls pain by numbing your nerves.

The R.I.C.E. Method

As helpful as ice is, though, you don’t want to overuse it because the cold can actually damage skin. Instead, follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

After resting the injured area, apply ice for about half an hour. Then let the injury warm up while applying pressure. Finally, elevate to help fluids drain.

Follow these quick and easy steps, and you’ll be up and running in no time! (Speaking of running, read up on how to avoid runner’s knee.)

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