R.I.C.E. Treatment

R.I.C.E. Treatment is the First Aid response appropriate for soft tissue injuries when the casualty is conscious (for unconscious casualties first consider the DRABC Procedure).

The characters "R', "I", "C" and "E" in the R.I.C.E. formula represent the following words:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Compress
  4. Elevate

The R.I.C.E. technique is demonstrated in the following First Aid video.

Written notes follow in the table further down this page.

Explain the 4 steps in R.I.C.E. Treatment:



Rest the part of the body with the soft tissue injury as soon as the injury has occured.
For example, if the person was participating in a team game at the time of the injury he or she should leave the field at once to rest the injury.



Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling of the tissues and possible muscle spasm.
The ice may be applied in an ice-pack or, if no ice-pack is available, using a similar cold compress subsitute.



Compress the affected area taking care to ensure that the bandage is not too tight. That is, it must not reduce blood flow too much. The purpose of the elastic bandage used to compress the soft tissue injury is to minimize or prevent swelling as far as possible.



Raise up the injured part of the body to a higher position than usual (which is what is meant by the word "elevate"). However, the body part must NOT be elevated if the movement of raising the body part, causes pain.

Students of GCSE PE may be asked to state and/or explain R.I.C.E. treatment in mid-year tests or their final exam.

Note about other perspectives about the use of R.I.C.E. treatment:

Some healthcare practitioners do not recommend use of the R.I.C.E. procedure because they dispute the healing effects of ice in some cases of inflammation. The following video provides more information about this including some explanations from the perspective of 'Eastern medicine':

This is the end of the page is about R.I.C.E. Treatment for basic first aid. See also the DRABC Procedure, the Recovery Position and What is CPR? The pages about the Effects of exercise on muscles and effects of exercise on circulation might also be helpful.

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