RICE Method for Injuries

RICE Method for InjuriesIf you are looking for knee pain relief the RICE method for Injuries is the preferred method. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate. It’s a first aid tool that is simple and easy to do.

For the majority of knee pain sustained from injury, doctors and healthcare professionals recommend it. So, the next time something painful happens to your knee, think of the RICE method for injuries.

Note – the RICE method can be used for various injuries. This article is specific to knee pain relief.

The RICE Method for Injuries


Resting an injury is vital. Stay off of your knees for 48 hours. Rest helps to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. After two days slowly increase movement. If your knee pain doesn’t subside or it increases, contact your doctor.

Tip – Do not over rest as it can have an adverse affect on your recovery.


Ice your injury for 15 to 20 minutes 4 to 5 times a day. This will reduce pain, swelling and inflammation which will promote healing. Icing is important because it shrinks the tissues and the blood vessels so that less fluid flows to the affected area.

Tip – Use a thin towel if you can’t handle the ice on your knee.


Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling. Make sure that the compression is tight enough for support, but loose enough not to cut off circulation.

Tip – Using a tight, non-elastic bandage will reduce adequate blood flow, causing ischemia.


Elevate your injured knee to reduce swelling. For elevation to be effective make sure your knees are above your heart. This will help reduce blood flow to the affected area.

Tip – While in bed, prop your knee up on a pillow or a mound of soft blankets.

Note – Part of the RICE method is meant to reduce blood flow to the injured area. Some people argue that a few injuries may require increased blood flow. In those cases MEAT (Movement, Exercise, Analgesics and Treatments) should be applied instead.

Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you are unsure or your knee pain increases. Make sure to also read some of our many knee pain relief exercises to help reduce your discomfort.

Article last updated on January 7th, 2019, first published on March 29, 2013.

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