Part 2: RICE is not just for dinner

08 JUN

Part 2: RICE is not just for dinner

By Dean Phelps on Wednesday, 8th of June    Tag: ACL Reconstruction, Pain, RICE,

When the physio becomes the patient – what I learnt post ACL reconstruction and meniscal repair.

This has come a fair bit later then expected, but I guess rehab has got in the way. So in part 1i touched on additional pain relieving methods used.

It’s probably of no surprise that R.I.C.E was a big factor. There was a definite correlation between the amount of ice used and the reduction in opiate use for me. I used everything from packs of pea’s my trusty R.I.C.E Aid and a Cryo Cuff.

Each with their benefits. Pea’s are a great cheap ice pack, they form to the injured area, freeze quickly and break up when you drop them on the ground before application. The R.I.C.E Aid was great to use as well, Just get ice and fill up, they last ages which means you can take it on an off, while it rests next to you so less time getting to and from the freezer.

The Cryo Cuff was great as well. It provided constant ice water under varying pressure into a cuff around the knee. Not necessary, but for those that want to get better quicker I highly recommend it. We hire them at the clinic if you need one.

I used a RICE protocol consisting of

REST - lots of couch time and Netfix. But relative, as pain eased i got more mobile each day.

ICE – My protocol was Let it heat up naturally, swell, then cool it down. Use either of the three above and do it regularly and consistently. Remember swelling is natural and a good thing, it brings in healing factors. In my opinion the body tends to over react, so ice helps keep at a good level for early mobilization and pain relief. Just find a happy medium, no under or over doing it.

Compression – I used the Cryo cuff so it was a pumping effect to simulate venous return. I tried Tubi-Grip but did not tolerate it well, but I certainly have used Tubi-Grip with patients to good effect in the past in between ice and for swelling control.

Elevation – was a must. Helped a heap with pain, discomfort and swelling management. I just kept it up with ice the on it, then took it down when it wasn’t on. I also gradually weaned the elevation so the body isn’t used to an external influence taking over and doing its job for it.

Pretty simple hey. No need to complicate it. If you have any questions or concerns whether this is right for you make sure you ask us!

In the next blog we will look at when to begin exercises!


Dean Phelps - Head Physiotherapy

Dean is a registered Gold Coast Physiotherapist with undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Human Movement and Exercise Science. His background has developed his vision for Fighting Fit Physiotherapy to focus on optimal health and peak physical performance for every single patient. Utilising his many qualifications, in depth knowledge of the body and passion for exercise he can provide a holistic approach to your treatment and exercise prescription to get the best outcome.


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