How to Treat Sports Injuries - dummies

By Michael Lewis, United States Soccer Federation, Inc.

Like it or not, injuries are part of soccer (and all sports). Ice is often used as part of the first-aid RICE method to decrease swelling after a bruise, after pulling or straining a muscle, or after spraining or breaking a bone. Check out this video to find out how to treat an injury using the RICE method (and even though the video shows a basketball player, the technique is the same for any athlete, soccer players included).


RICE stands for

  • R = Rest

  • I = Ice

  • C = Compress

  • E = Elevate

  • Rest speaks for itself. The player doesn’t move at all.

  • Ice must be used properly. To stop or limit blood flow and pain, you should place crushed ice in a double plastic bag, a wet towel, or an ice bag. The ice pack should remain on the injury for 15 minutes of every waking hour for the first 24 to 72 hours, depending on the severity of the injury and how quickly the swelling abates.

  • You then need to compress the injury. After you finish with the ice, replace it with an elastic wrap. If you are wrapping an injured leg or arm, start at the place most distance from the heart and work your way toward the heart in a criss-cross fashion. Toes and fingers of the injured player should be slightly exposed so that you can watch for skin discolorations.

  • You should elevate the injured arm or leg above the heart level for the first 24 to 72 hours. You should go to a physician if swelling continues.