Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
What is the RICE Method for Healing Injuries? (February 14, 2006)

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Now that I’ve been hanging around the gym, when people get injured, I hear trainers say, “Use the rice method.” I know it can’t be a food, so what exactly is it? (Carla, Elmont)

RICE is an acronym which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When you follow this method, you reduce the injury and speed up the healing process.

  • Rest Allow the damaged tissue to heal without further injury. You can use the practice of “Active Rest” by working around the injured area. For example, if you have a shoulder injury, work the lower body and torso.
  • Ice Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel around the injured area for approximately 20 minutes 4-8 times per day for the first three days. This will reduce inflammation, swelling and will speed up recovery.
  • Compression Use an elastic wrap which helps reduce swelling by increasing fluid pressure, forcing the built-up fluid into the body’s drainage system.
  • Elevation Allows gravity to assist in moving the fluids toward the draining system. The injured area should be elevated above the level of the heart.
Give yourself time to heal in order to prevent re-injury. As for rice, make it brown: it’s a great complex carbohydrate.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on