Thursday, December 26, 2013

Which Works Better for Acute Injuries, RICE or MEAT?

A couple of days before Christmas I did an ankle rollover off the edge of my porch mat and flopped around in pain in the rain on my front sidewalk for a couple of minutes. Then I got up and limped into the house.

My fall was much less graceful
Fortunately, since I'm a figure skater I had ankle compression, Advil, and ice packs ready to go!

You're all familiar with RICE aren't you? Rest Ice Compression Elevation? It's the mantra I grew up with. Rest-get off my ankle, Ice--put ice on it, Compression--well, put on a compression bandage, Elevation--prop my foot up.
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation!

There I am lying in bed, and I start researching. It turns out that RICE is now in a contest with MEAT!
MEAT says I should do the following:
Movement-rotate the foot to keep the blood flow to the injured area
Exercise- get up and walk around
Analgesic--hooray! Advil!
Treatment--physical therapy
Movement,Exercise, Analgesic, Therapy!
Basically, I have to be a doctor to tell when RICE is better than MEAT! I'm not kidding! One is for muscle injury, the other is for ligament injury. How ya gonna know?   Since I'm not a doctor I can't know if it's muscle or ligament, I have to make some decisions on my own.

Let's call my personal method BEANS.

Basically, put some compression and ice the injury followed by heat a couple hours later
Exercise--get up and walk around; if I can't, then stop and go to the weekend clinic, also rotate the ankle to keep the blood flowing to the ligament and/or muscle that's injured
Analgesics--sweet, sweet advil
Note how I'm feeling and adjust my treatment,
See if there's any bruising or swelling and monitor it for increasing pain

So what do we have after an injury?

Booyah! We've got a meal!  Rice Meat AND Beans!


  1. Regardless of which type of injury you have, I hope you mend well and soon are back on the ice.

  2. Rice, meat & beans = carbs & protein to assist muscle repair.

    Jeepers! You are clever!