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8607 Roberts Drive, Suite 150 Sandy Springs, GA 30350-2237

(770) 518-8272phone    (770) 518-3310fax

8607 Roberts Drive, Suite 150 Sandy Springs, GA 30350-2237

ice pack on foot

Relieve Pain, Swelling with RICE

By Leigh Carpenter, R.Ph., Director of Pharmacy

Published November 13, 2019


A joint bleed may result in swelling and pain. To relieve these symptoms and promote healing, use RICE therapy – rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: Rest and protect the sore area. Take a break from any activity that may cause pain.
  • Ice: Apply something cold to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Wrap the area with an elastic bandage, such as an Ace bandage wrap, to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep the area in pain at or above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

Why Ice?

Often treating injuries requires applying either ice or heat. So, why is ice recommended for a bleed?

Ice shrinks the blood vessels, slows blood flow to the area and helps the body to heal. Heat, on the other hand, increases blood flow. When treating a bleed, always use ice.

Ice can be much more than frozen water, however. Here are a few additional ways you can apply “ice” to a bleed:

  • Use a bag of frozen peas
  • Ice packs (instant and gel packs)
  • Ice tape

HoG offers Cool’n Tape®, a compression wrap that cools by evaporation. It works great for bleeds because it can wrap around the entire joint, and it’s reusable. Contact us at 770-518-8272 to learn more.