RICE .. Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation

 

Theoretically ice is used to reduce pain and swelling. Ice is everywhere on game day. However, its use has its issues. 

 

In no way does ice speed up or promote healing.

In some situations ice makes pain worse .. if it does.. think fracture.

Ice can damage the skin .. especialy ice from a deep-freeze ... best applied over a cloth.

 

During the Game Our club's policy is .. if ice is required during the game then the player does not return to the field of play. Why?

a) Cooling off an injured limb will cause inco-ordination and increase the possibility of further injury.

b) Loss of sensation equally may lead to aggravating injury and increased bleeding.

 

After the Game

Many players strap ice-bags to various injuries after a match. What for I'm not sure .. for the same players then jump into a hot shower, muck about,then off for a few beers and a night of horse-play .. all activities specially designed to encourage swelling & bleeding. It's a ritual .. perhaps a warrior's display of injury. Perhaps a temporary relief of pain before the beer kicks in.

 

The Injured Player

Ice can be a vital part of the care of a significant injury .. the best example being the corked thigh .. where every bit of blood spilt into the muscle mass means a longer rehabilitation. When you really need ice.. apply 15 minutes on - 15 minutes off. Continue at least for that evening. Ice is probably of limited value in subsequent days.

Also , institute all other measures .. that is.. rest, compression and avoidance of all things which promote bleeding & swelling .. dont drink alcohol, dont go out for the night, dont apply heat for 4 days, dont massage the injured part for 4 days, train gently and with advice from your trainers.