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  • Dr Andrew Smy

Start Healing with RICE!?

As we specialise in promoting optimal health and wellbeing, couple with running a very busy clinic, its rare that we see many acute injuries nowadays...


That being said we still have lots of conversations with people who are lookign for short term pain relief, or the best start to their healing journey post injury whilst waiting to see us.


So how do you ensure you are healing as quickly as possible, you RICE!


No not the every so tasty carbohydrate... RICE is and an acronym which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.



So why do we you use it?


Well in the first 24-48 hours following injury this method will minimise the bleeding and swelling at the injury site, help in healing time and meaning that you can get back to exercising or full fitness quicker.


We rest the injury to allow the body to create scar tissue which will be used to heal the injury. For example in a muscle tear the scar tissue will join both ends of the tear and join them together preventing further re rupturing.



So whilst we rest the injury we also can ice the injury. This is because the cold temperatures cause the blood vessels to restrict, and get smaller, preventing the swelling from increasing. The cold temperatures also effect the nerve which will help in decreasing the pain and muscle spasms. However if applied for too long the cold temperatures can cause ice burns to the skin and also decrease the healing time of the injury, it is advised to apply the ice for 10 minutes then have a break and then re-apply. (Never apply ice directly to bare skin either!)


Compressing the injury will help to also reduce the swelling and give further support to the joint or tissue helping in preventing further damage to the injury.

Elevating the injury will help ensure proper drainage of the injury site and reduce further swelling because of the fact that the blood will have to travel against gravity making it harder for it to reach the area.


So just RICE right?


A lot of people mistakenly choose to use RICE until they feel better and then get back to full activity. Its the number one mistake we see people making with their current and future health!


Any injury happens for a reason, which unless traumatic, is a consequence of a faulty nervous system. Even in traumatic injuries, the better tuned your nervous system is, the more robust and resilient your tissue are to injury in the first place. This is why it is ESSENTIAL to get your nervous system checked out and find out why the injury occurred and prevent it from happening again.


Also once scar tissue is formed, it is a week link in the system until it has been properly conditioned and rehabilitated to the best of its potential, this is where skilled manual therapy comes into place! Scar tissue which is simply left to form and heal on its own is significantly weaker than that which has been assess and care for by a trained professional!


So if you have had an injury previously and it still niggles, or have just had one, why not book a FREE discovery visit to find out all your options!





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