Supports and braces can be beneficial in the prevention of injuries, for acute injuries, and for chronic conditions. When minor injuries occur, like sprains or strains, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (R.I.C.E.) is recommend as an initial method to relieve pain and swelling.
Rest is reducing activity as much as possible, at least until the pain subsides. Depending on the injury, some suggest as much as two days of rest, as continued use can increase the severity of the injury and delaying recovery further.
Ice can be applied to the painful area the reduce pain and swelling. Make sure to cover the ice or ice pack with a thin towel before applying to the skin. Alternate periods of ice and no ice as much a possible during the first few days of your injury. Some recommend only using ice for 20 minutes at a time, to prevent further tissue damage.
Compression involves wrapping the injured area to help prevent selling with a support or bandage with the ability to stretch. For instance, for a common injury like a mild ankle sprain, you can use an adjustable ankle support to provide gentle compression. When applying the support, you will want a comfortable snug fit, but not too tight.
Elevation means holding the injured body part above the level of your heart. Some suggest having the affected area around six inches higher than your heart, to reduce pain as well as minimize bruising and swelling. With an ankle injury, you can sit on the couch while propping your foot up on a pillow.
Regardless of what method you choose to prevent or remedy injuries, supports are designed to provide protection, relieve pain, and promote healing to the involved joints and muscles.
Always consult a medical professional if prolonged pain or swelling occurs.