Injury Rehabilitation In Rugby – RICER
How to treat and Manage an Injury
The Application of R.I.C.E.R. (Ice for injuries)
How do we apply the ice and for how long ? All rugby players must realise that getting back out to play or train or simply to walk around after an injury will depend on how fast you start the injury recovery or R.I.C.E.R. treatment process –
The R.I.C.E.R procedure is R- is for Rest – (In some cases this is also seen to be Remove – Remove the player from the training site or playing area )
However once done Rest means complete rest from all sporting activity for the duration of the initial treatment or longer – the length of this will depend on the actual injury sustained
I is for ICE – the application of which should begin within minutes of the injury – why Ice – cold reduces the diameter of the blood vessels that are causing the bleeding and reduces the blood flow into the damaged area (site)
by limiting this you are in fact commencing the healing process. In addition you are providing immediate relief for the pain in the damaged area – this reduces the trauma
C- is for Compression – in some injuries this is not always viable however where it is the inured site should be wrapped up with a bandage or similar item to reduce the potential flow into the site and to prevent excessive use.
By bandaging a damaged ankle it prevents the player from using that ankle and in doing so stops them for further injuring it.
Compression is not tight it can be achieved by wearing compression socks, or skins over the damaged area Especially in cold weather.
E- is for Elevation – The ability to get the damaged area/site higher than the heart level will also reduce blood flow into the site and as stated prevent further damage
Wha we are trying to achieve is simply that to reduce the amount of blood flow into the damaged area – so trying to keep the arm higher than the heart – or lying down and resting the lower legs higher than normal if not above the level of the hear – Raise the bed at night ro keep the blood flow to the lower limb reduced where possible.
R- is for Rehabilitation – If required and as stated in an earlier article the urgent need for further treatment by a specialist /doctor or Physio that deals with the type of injury
Seek treatment after icing of there is paid and discomfort, do not try and dig in and be tough, it will cost you in the long run as the injury become worse or repeats week after week.
How Long do we apply Ice
Here we will deal with the I – as in ICE Ice – The actual Procedure is as follows: Leave the playing or training area immediately – Apply ice using the Sports Injury Ice Bag immediately or a plastic bag with ice or drop the injured area into a bucket of ice or ice bath – This can often be achieved using a sock fixed to the injured area with glad wrap.
The RICER Day to Day structure
Day One (day of the injury)Immediately following any injury or strain simply apply the ice bag for a period of 20 minutes every hour until you go to bed for the night.- last application in bed
Day Two: Apply ice using the ice bag 20 minutes every hour until you go to bedfor the night (last application should be in bed) – Remembering that the Ice Bag is designed to allow you to use it over the external clothing where necessary – this does reduce the effectiveness of the system however it will allow you to use it in a work environment without embarrassment.
Day Three: Apply ice using the Ice Bag for 20 minutes 6 times for the day (every 2 hours)When you wake up , Mid morning (10 am), Lunch time (12 midday)Mid Afternoon (3 pm) , Evening (6pm) , Before Bed at night.
Day Four: Apply ice using the Ice Bag for 20 Minutes – 3 times during the dayMorning, Afternoon and last thing at night. In addition – and with the approval of your medical staff, or physiotherapistyou should begin to lightly stretch the injured area and lightly massage the area(not deep), either with ice or a suitable lubricant (not deep heat) applying the ice again after massage for a further 5 –10 minutes. 9massage stimulates the area and increase the blood flow to encourage elimination of the waste products, however it will also or may also createAa limited blood loss in the damaged area – icing reduces that.
Day Five: As for Day four – using the Ice Bag for 20 minutes three times a day In addition you should increase the range of the stretching and movementwith a slightly deeper massage – always using the ice pack after massage to reduce any small internal bleeding or discomfort that may occur.
Day Six: As for days four and five using the Ice Bag Again increase the range of stretches and movement – using the ice to assist and prevent any further internal bleeding due to the stretching and massage.
Day Seven: By now most athletes will have returned to some form of exercise with the advice of their physiotherapist. The Ice Bag. will be required for the first 2 – 3 weeks after an injury to be used either as heat therapy or cold therapy Keep it on hand – injury prevention is also a use for the Ice BagWHY DO WE USE ICE –
Remembering that the Ice Bag is designed to allow you to use it over the external clothing where necessary – this does reduce the effectiveness of the system however it will allow you to use it in a work environment without embarrassment.
The Ice Bag. will be required for the first 2 – 3 weeks after an injury to be used either as heat therapy or cold therapy
Keep it on hand – injury prevention is also a use for the Ice Bag