RICE, or sometimes PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) has been the standard modality of care for musculoskeletal injuries for nearly four decades. It was first introduced by Gabe Mirkin in his Sportsmedicine Book in 1978. The term caught on and was taken as law throughout the last 40 years by athletes, doctors, and physical therapists alike. While the basic principles are sound as far as immediate treatment of an acute injury, there are some problems with the practice.
Compliance tends to be low due to the difficulty of repeatedly applying messy ice bags to an area several times per day. Attempting to hold the bag or pack in place with an elastic bandage offers mediocre effectiveness at best, making the compression factor inconsistent and thus fairly ineffective. It’s difficult to maintain this routine while trying to attend to one’s obligation such as home, family, and work.
More often than not, people tend to turn to painkillers such as NSAIDs or even narcotics to manage their pain levels because of the challenge of administering physical treatment to the injury. These products can be effective but anti-inflammatories can cause ulcers, worsen bleeding, and damage the liver and kidneys over time. Narcotics cause people to lose focus, become groggy, and generally interfere with normal functioning – plus they can produce a dependence upon chemical substances that’s difficult to shake.
A Better Way
Technology has advanced greatly since RICE was coined. Thanks to EasyCryo, a Portable Cold Compression System, it’s now possible treat acute injuries like sprains, strains, and muscle tears without the inconvenience of wet ice bags or ice water buckets. This system consists of a machine that cycles ice cold water throughout specialized wraps in order to reduce inflammation and interrupt nerve centers to alleviate pain. Air is also cycled through the wrap, which aids in reducing swelling and increasing lymph drainage – a necessity for ridding the body of the byproducts of the injury and healing process.
Not only do these systems eliminate the need for awkward ice packs, they are portable so you can take them wherever you need to go, including your workplace, so treatment doesn’t need to be interrupted. Because the effectiveness of pain relief offered by EasyCryo, the need for painkillers is greatly reduced and often even eliminated, leaving you alert and able to function in your daily activities.
Benefits for Athletes
Endurance sports are more popular than ever but with that enthusiasm comes soreness, stiffness, and muscle pulls. By keeping an EasyCryo system at home you can treat any problem areas immediately, reducing recovery time and getting into motion more quickly – which speeds healing. An ankle sprain or Achilles tendon injury can put you on the sidelines for weeks, which can interfere with progress you’ve made in building up your stamina.
Cold compression has been proven to decrease healing time and relieve the pain that keeps you from your favorite sport. Doctors and physical therapists recommend cold therapy as a first line of treatment when recovering from a sports injury, and having a machine at home allows you to comply with this recommendation without having to take time out to travel to and from office appointments.
RICE was appropriate in its time, but there’s no longer a need to struggle with applying cold and compression to an injury manually. EasyCryo automates the entire process, making it quick, painless, and efficient. Don’t put up with lasting pain from injuries – rent or buy a cryotherapy system and get back in the game.