Strains and sprains are some of the most common work injuries. Therefore, it’s important to know how you should respond if you find yourself injured. One way which doctors recommend is the RICE method. This four-step plan can help get your injury under control and prevent it from getting worse…

RICE: Responding To Injury


The first part of the RICE plan is rest. You’ll want to start this as soon as you feel some kind of pain. After all, pain is our body’s way of letting us know something is wrong. That means don’t buy into the “no pain, no gain” mindset. Trying to keep working could just make your injury worse!

Instead, stop working and take some time to rest. While a quick break might make you feel better, don’t try and just brush it off. Most doctors say it’s a good idea to avoid putting weight on the injured area for at least 48 hours, to see how it heals.


The next step in the RICE plan is to ice the injured area. Ice is a tried-and-true solution for reducing pain and lowering swelling. As a result, you’ll want to try and apply it as soon as you can. Keep the ice on for around 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours during those first 48 hours after your injury.

Most people will try and take an ice pack and wrap it in a towel to avoid potential frostbite. If you don’t have an ice pack, then the classic plastic bag filled with ice will also do the trick. Even something like frozen fruit or vegetables can work in a pinch!

Compression & elevate

The last two steps of the RICE plan are compression and elevation. Compressing the injured area will further help keep any swelling down. Use something like an elastic bandage, and wrap the area up. You want it to be snug, but not too tight that it interrupts blood flow.

Once that’s done, you’ll want to then elevate the injury. The proper elevation is right above the heart level, or as close as you can get to it. This helps reduce pain, swelling, and throbbing. While you can use anything available to elevate the injured area, getting something soft or cushioned is your best bet.