Here are the four steps (R.I.C.E.) to follow right after injury occurs and continue for at least 48 hours:
- Rest ~ immobilize and keep weight bearing to injured area at a minimum
- Ice ~ 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.
- Compression ~ even pressure on injured area to minimize swelling.
- Elevation ~ injured area at a level above your heart to minimize swelling.
After the first 48 hours, heat application may offer additional relief.
Protect the area from further injury by using a brace or support during rehabilitation wherever possible.