By Fit For Work Staff

Every June, the National Safety Council (NSC) celebrates National Safety Month to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Safety should always be at the top of your priority list whether at work or at home, but what do you do when life happens and you find yourself injured and trying to recover?

There's no question. We have all pulled a muscle or sprained a joint at some time in our life. So the question is, what do you do after an injury?

RICE is a simple acronym to quickly remember to help answer that question.

"R" is for REST.

Rest doesn't mean do nothing but lie in bed for the next two weeks. Instead, rest can be as simple as modifying your activity to avoid aggravating the injury. So you may need to do things a little different, ask for help with certain tasks, and let your supervisor know about your injury so they can assign you modified duty, if available.

"I" is for ICE.

The body naturally swells in the injured area, which causes pain. Ice helps reduce the swelling and numbs the area, reducing pain and spasms. You should ice after an injury; the sooner the better. Continue to ice for 10 to 20 minutes several times per day for the first 48 to 72 hours post-injury.


If you have considerable swelling in an injured joint, a bandage wrap can be applied to help reduce the swelling and prevent additional swelling. Wear the bandage wrap during the day until the swelling is reduced.

"E" is for ELEVATE

Elevation of the injured area can also help reduce swelling. Try to elevate the area while icing and any time you are sitting and resting.

Using the RICE techniques will help reduce the swelling and pain, which will allow your body to begin the healing process. You also need to be getting enough sleep, eating healthy and drinking enough water to give your body what it needs to heal itself.

Key websites

National Safety Council