Beyond RICE: Other Conservative Therapies For Sports Injuries

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The term "conservative therapy" is used to describe non-surgical, non-invasive treatment measures for sports injuries. For years, RICE has been the backbone of conservative therapies. The acronym stands for "rest, ice, compression, elevation." Indeed, RICE can help heal a lot of injuries, but over the past few years, there have been advances in medical science resulting in additional conservative therapies. If you are suffering from a sports injury, here are some conservative treatments — beyond RICE — that you should explore.

Massage Therapy

Doctors and scientists have been becoming more aware of the therapeutic benefits of massage. It does not just feel good. It helps alleviate inflammation and increase circulation to the area being massaged, which can speed the healing of a sports injury. Massage can be really helpful for healing injuries that involve tendons and ligaments. These tissues have very little circulation, which is why they take so long to heal. However, having the area around an injured tendon or ligament massaged can help increase circulation to the area. Massage also relieves stress, and people tend to heal better when they are not stressed out.

Cold Laser Therapy

You might think of lasers as high-powered, dangerous instruments, but there are actually low-powered lasers with longer wavelengths. They won't damage your tissues, and in fact, they will help promote healing. Cold laser therapy changes the frequency at which the exposed body tissues vibrate, which can speed up healing. Like massage, it can also draw more blood to the area, providing the injured tissues with the nutrients and oxygen they need to make repairs. Many physical therapists and chiropractors offer cold laser therapy. A treatment session only takes a few minutes, and you can have several sessions per week.

Magnet Therapy

Magnet therapy involves wearing a band or wrap with magnets embedded in it around the injured area. Although nobody is quite sure how or why this works, it seems to change cell and neural activity in the area in a way that promotes healing and pain relief. The best thing about magnet therapy is that you can put the magnets on and let them work while you go about your day. You can wear them all day as you attend school or go to work. 

RICE remains the cornerstone of good, conservative therapy for sports injuries. But if you can work one or more of the above therapies into your routine as well, you'll be better off. Visit a site like to learn more about sports injury treatments.