The R.I.C.E.D. method of injury treatment can relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured tissue, all of which help to speed healing.


  • Rest reduces further damage - stop activity as soon as the injury occurs
  • Avoid as much movement of the injured part as possible to limit further injury
  • Don't put any weight on the injured part of the body.


  • Ice cools the tissue and reduces pain, swelling and bleeding
  • Place ice wrapped in a damp towel onto the injured area - don't put ice directly onto bare skin
  • Hold the ice pack firmly in place with a bandage
  • Keep ice on the injury for 20 minutes every two hours for the first 48 hours.


  • Firm bandaging helps to reduce bleeding and swelling
  • Ensure that bandaging is not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes tingling or pain past the bandage
  • Bandage the injury between ice treatments.


  • Elevation helps to stop bleeding and reduce swelling
  • Raise the injured area on a pillow for comfort and support
  • Keep the injured area raised as much as possible.


  • Consult a medical professional, eg a doctor or physiotherapist especially if you are worried about the injury, or if the pain or swelling gets worse
  • If the pain or swelling has not gone down significantly within 48 hours, also seek treatment
  • An accurate diagnosis is essential for proper rehabilitation of moderate to severe injuries.

Last updated: 6 May 2014

Last reviewed: 22 January 2014