According to University Health Services at the University of Wisconsin Madison (UHS), RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. RICE is used for muscle and ligament strains as well as bruises and other injuries.
UHS describes the acronym as follows:
- Rest after an injury, as it takes time to heal.
- Applying ice right after an injury occurs reduces swelling and helps an injury heal more quickly.
- Compression supports the injured area and reduces swelling.
- Elevating the injured area above the heart reduces swelling and healing time.
Use RICE immediately after an injury, and continue for 24 to 48 hours.