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Many minor soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls and sprains – respond well to a treatment regimen known as “R.I.C.E.” That's the acronym for “Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.” The first 24 – 48 hours after any injury are the most critical, and R.I.C.E. can help reduce both the severity of symptoms and the length of time the injury sidelines a runner.
• Rest. Take the weight or stress off the affected area, and give it some tie to start healing.
• Ice. An ice pack on the affected area can help reduce both pain and swelling. Don't leave an ice pack in place for more than about a quarter-hour at a time.
• Compression. Wrap the affected area in an ACE bandage – but not too tightly – to help keep swelling down.
• Elevation. Putting the injured area at a level higher than the heart helps reduce swelling.