Runners are no strangers to injury. Every now and then, we feel a twist or a ding. If you feel intense pain, or see part of a bone sticking through your leg, you probably want to seek immediate medical attention. If your injury is not that severe, you can try this simple plan to treat minor injuries.
It goes by the acronym RICE, which stands for “Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate”. Try this for 24-48 hours after an injury to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and alleviate further injury.
Rest. This gives your injury time to heal. Taking a few days off won’t kill you, and may solve your problem. When you return to running, start slowly.
Ice. Grab an ice pack, or an old steak like they did in cartoons, and slap it on the sore spot. Ice can provide immediate relief from pain and reduce swelling. Do not apply heat if you see any inflammation. This will hinder the healing process.
Apply your ice pack, steak, or bag of frozen french fries to the injured area for about 20 minutes every 4-6 hours. If the swelling persists, you should probably see a doctor.
Compression. You can wrap the injured area with an Ace bandage, but don’t wrap it too tightly. If you feel throbbing, excessive pain, numbness or intense pressure, unwrap it. It is a good idea to unwrap your injury every few hours anyway.
Elevate. This is where you get to lay on the couch with your feet up and try to finagle room service from your family. Elevate the injured part, trying to keep it above the heart, if possible.
Again, if you don’t feel better after a few days, it might be time to see a doctor. It is better to lose a few days now than to seriously hurt yourself.
About Ken Storen
Ken is the proudest father of the greatest little 7 year old on the planet. In order to keep up with her infinite energy, he likes to take long, slow jogs. It is the only way he can remain in shape to play hour after hour of ”Catch the Cheetah”. He also did and does a lot of other stuff.