Injury Management and The RICES Method: A Thing of the Past - Part 1

Ice: One of the original injury management techniques and probably the most widely used here in America. Every day in the clinic and around athletics, I see the misuse AND overuse of ice. The common acronym I’m sure most of you have heard if you’ve been around athletics is “RICES: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Stabilization.” This specific method of injury management has been around for decades and was coined by Dr. Gabe Mirkin in 1978. If you follow sports medicine or any form of health care you know that research and improved methods are always being updated. In my experience with research, in undergrad and now graduate school as I am finishing up my thesis, the rule of thumb we use is having the articles we use be within 5 years of the current date. So, with this method still being so commonly used today, you can see where the issue is with us using a method that is almost 4 decades old. In 2014 Dr. Mirkin wrote an article titled, “RICE: The End of An Ice Age,” stating that we now know that the excessive use of ice and prolonged rest may actually be causing the healing process to slow down and increase the overall time away from sport/competition. This is a big topic I cover in my sports medicine workshops for Ohio High School coaches for the main reason being many high schools in Ohio do not have any medical coverage of their sporting events. If we can increase the knowledge around this topic, we can provide better healthcare for athletes and keep them off the sidelines and return to play much quicker than we have in the past. But obviously, this isn’t isolated to only athletes. If you are avid gym-goer, cross-fitter or even just someone who sprains their ankle mowing the lawn, the correct use of these injury management techniques can significantly decrease time away from activity. So, between now and my next article which will drop early next week, I would challenge you guys to search and see what you can find about new schools of thought on injury management. I am very excited to raise awareness about these aspects of health care because I encounter situations involving this every day. So in the next article I will talk about the “POLICE” method and how this differs from RICES, and how it can benefit you, your athletes and clients.

-Heal By Moving-

Todd Sabol1 Comment