Why RICE is Outdated & What You Should do Instead

rice methodWhat’s your go-to treatment option? If it’s the RICE method, you may want to rethink your recovery strategies.

Almost 40 years ago, the RICE method was developed by Dr. Gabe Mirkin as the recommended treatment protocol for acute sports injuries. Four years ago, Dr. Mirkin retracted his position saying that the RICE method is not the preferred treatment.

Uncovering the RICE Method

There are four components to RICE- rest, ice, compression, elevation. However, some of these components aren’t backed by evidence or shown to actually help.

It’s not just that the RICE method is ineffective. Research shows that rest can prolong the recovery process. Ice has also been shown to delay healing and interfere with athletic performance, along with some other potentially harmful side effects. Compression and elevation are still useful methods, but subsequent research has shown that mild movement is the most effective technique for a quick and optimal recovery.

At the 2018 National Athletic Trainers Conference in New Orleans, athletic trainers from 12 universities and Cirque du Soleil stopped by our booth to talk about why they are leaving ice in the cooler. The group discusses using Marc Pro as an effective method for speeding recovery and getting athletes back in the game.

 “If you look at it and you start reading and doing some of your own research, what makes sense is movement. That’s how muscles heal, that’s how tissue heals.” – Brandon Aiken, University of South Carolina, Aiken

For more details on how ice affects the body’s healing response, what the published research says, and the scientifically proven method for speeding recovery, read The Truth About Icing and Recovery.