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How to Self-Treat Running Injuries

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Updated April 01, 2014

Runners knee injury Comstock Images

Despite your best running injury prevention efforts, you may find yourself dealing with some aches and pains during your training. Most running injuries respond well to the "R.I.C.E." treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. R.I.C.E. treatment can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and protect the injury from further aggravation. It should be followed for 24 to 48 hours following the initial injury.

Here's How:

  1. Rest is often the easiest and most effective treatment for common running injuries. Take a couple of days off from running -- it may be all you need to heal your injury.

  2. Ice the trouble spot with an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies for 20 minutes, every 4 to 6 hours. You can also use an ice cup. To make an ice cup, fill a paper cup with water and then put it in the freezer. When it's frozen, peel away the top of the cup and massage the injured area with the ice cup for approximately 10 minutes.

    Try to ice the affected area as soon as possible once you feel pain, and immediately after a run if you are running with an injury. Heat should only be applied to an injury after the inflammation is gone, usually after about 72 hours. If your swelling has gone down significantly, but there's still some inflammation, try alternating heat and ice after a few days of ice-only treatment.

    More: VIDEO: How to Ice a Running Injury

  3. Compression limits swelling and can provide minor pain relief. You can wrap the affected area with an Ace bandage, but don't make it too tight. If you feel throbbing or excessive pressure, loosen the bandage.

  4. Elevate the injured body part -- try to get it higher than your heart, if possible. In most cases, you can do this by lying down and propping the injury up on pillows.
     

Also see: When to See a Doctor for a Running Injury
Runners' Home Remedies

 

What You Need:

  • Ice or frozen bag of vegetables
  • Ace bandage
Related Video
How to Ice a Running Injury
5 Stretches for Runners

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