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Injury Recovery: Take It Step-By-Step

For youth sports injuries which are not serious enough to warrant emergency treatment (e.g. non-emergent injuries), recovery from injury is usually a three-step process: RICE (immediate first aid), recovery and rehabilitation, leading to eventual return to competition:


  • Rest
  • Ice: to eliminate immediate pain - Cryotherapy (ice, cold tubs, cold wraps, cold compression units, etc.)
  • Compression:  Compression (elastic wrap, compression sleeve, etc.) to decrease inflammation
  • Elevation In a non-gravity-dependent position to decrease inflammation.
  • After pain and swelling subsides to minimal levels, it is time for exercises to re-gain range of motion. Increasing blood flow  to the injured area will help reduce any residual inflammation.
  • Increase motion, balance, and strength through the pain free range.
  • If injury becomes chronic and progress seems to stop and pain remains, follow up with a physician for further evaluation is recommended.

Return to play

Posted August 18, 2011