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Rice is not just something to eat. It is also an acronym for a first aid technique when you have a muscle sprain or strain. It happens to all of us, so it’s good to know what to do.

Rest – Who wouldn’t like this one? For 24 hours you should rest. This is your excuse to get out of doing any chores. After 24 hours you can return to your everyday activities as long as you do not experience any pain with doing so.

Ice – This one is not fun, but do it anyway because it decreases inflammation and will speed up your recovery. Ice the injured area for 20 minutes every hour for the first 4 hours. After that, you can switch to only icing 4 times a day for the next 2 days. Icing can be done with a re-freezable ice pack or a bag of crushed ice. Put a layer of fabric between the ice pack and your skin and set a timer to make sure you are not icing longer than 20 minutes. You do not want frostbite. You have enough problems already.

Compression – Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage for 48 hours. It should be snug, but you should not experience any tingling, numbness, or pain. If you experience any of those things, you need to loosen the bandage.

Elevation – Try to elevate the injured body part above your heart. A good way to do this is to lie down and use pillows, blankets, or towels under the injured body part. Do this even while you are sleeping. The more you elevate, the less pain you will have.

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