If you have ever injured yourself, you are probably familiar with the acronym RICE – which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But how do you know which element (or all of them) you should do? Should you do heat or ice?
- REST – You should start the rest component as soon as you notice the injury. Trust me on this one—nothing good happens when you notice an injury and you continue to run. Continuing to run/workout when injured can make the injury even worse!
- ICE – You will want to do ice immediately after the injury to help reduce swelling. With respect to the amount of time you need to ice, that generally depends on how much soft tissue is at the injury site. For example, less soft tissue means less time icing. Shoot for a minimum of 10 minutes, but don’t go longer than 30 minutes.
- COMPRESSION- You can apply compression in conjunction with icing to help reduce swelling. You may also wanted to continue with compression as your injury heals, i.e. with athletic tape, KT tape, or ACE bandages.
- ELEVATION—Although it is not always possible to elevate the injured area right away, if you can, do it! Elevate the injured area above your heart to help reduce swelling by causing the blood to flow back down towards your heart.
- The Stick– if you need to give your calves a serious massage, this tool is a Godsend!
- Dr. Cool Recovery-On-The-Go Wrap – Just stick these wraps in the freezer and they’re ready when you need them. They come in different sizes and velcro easily to stay in place. As a bonus, they come in a variety of bright colors!
- Icy Hot—If you have sore muscles, a simple application of this stuff can ease your pain for a while.
- Arnica- I love arnica gel because it’s plant-based and really does work! I use the gel, although it comes in homeopathic pills too. Spread it on the affected area and it can alleviate pain and reduce bruising.
30 Something Mother Runner received two Dr. Cool Recovery Wraps to test out. All opinions are 100% my own.