If you’ve dealt with a painful knee in the past, you’re probably very familiar with the RICE treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. But in 1996, Dr. Jim Wharton and Dr. Phil Wharton pioneered a new approach by suggesting the MICE treatment, which replaces the Rest step with Mobility instead.
Which should you choose? How can you tell the difference between pain that needs rest to heal and pain that needs movement? And are there any other options? Take a look to find some helpful answers.
The RICE Treatment
RICE is standard advice for a muscle sprain or strain. But how does it work, and what does each step do?
Rest allows the injured or painful joint the opportunity to heal. Ice helps swelling go down and may help decrease inflammation temporarily. Compression, usually achieved by wrapping the joint in compression bandages, also minimizes swelling and it provides a sense of stability when you feel you can’t trust your joint. Elevation, which also decreases swelling (are you sensing a pattern here?), reduces the flow of blood to the damaged tissues.
The MICE Treatment
When you opt for MICE rather than RICE, you substitute movement for rest. Permission to move may be especially important if your knee is painful as the result of an injury, since it mitigates the emotional aspects of the injury. However, you should receive a doctor’s permission before you switch to MICE from RICE.
The important thing in choosing MICE is to start with very limited movement, progressing only when you can move without pain. Writing the alphabet using your foot is a common recommendation when recovering from an ankle injury. If you’re dealing with knee pain, low-impact cycling on a stationary bike with no added tension is recommended. Exercising in water is also a good idea, since it removes weight from the stressed knee. One of the most effective rehabilitation exercises involves the AlterG® – an anti-gravity treadmill that allows the user to be active but with only a fraction of their actual body weight. ViscoGen™ is one of the sole owners of the AlterG in the Orlando area, and is proud to offer it as a rehabilitative resource for our patients suffering from knee pain.
A Helpful Alternative: The KneeVisc 5® Treatment
The KneeVisc 5® treatment, available at ViscoGen™, provides patients with the best of MICE plus the added benefit of immediate pain reduction. The treatment combines Visco-supplementation, which involves the injection of a natural lubricant into the affected joint, with a program that increases movement gradually. The availability of pain relief allows you to get back to a healthy lifestyle and daily activities with all the support you need.
At ViscoGen™, we provide the treatments and the personal support you need to help heal your painful knee and get back to your regular life. Contact us to learn how we can help you move past pain and injury to health and wellness.