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Q: I’m always active and want to minimize my recovery time for minor injuries. Know any quick fixes that work?

Photograph of a hockey player icing his foot.Tonya says...
Yes, use the tried-and-true RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) treatment immediately after—and for the first 24 to 48 hours following—injuries such as bruises, ligament sprains, muscle strains and pulled muscles. The earlier you start the RICE treatment, the better it works! Here’s how: Rest the injury. If movement causes pain or swelling, stop. Don’t bear any weight on an injury like a sprained ankle if there is pain or swelling. Ice the injured area to control swelling and inflammation and help the injury heal faster. Frozen ice packs are my fave choice (and they won’t seep out all over your bed!). They should be left on for about 15 to 20 minutes per session, then removed for 15 to 20 minutes so that the area can warm up to room temperature. Wrap the ice pack in a tea towel so that it won’t feel cold on your skin and cause frostbite. Compression also helps limit swelling and provides some additional support to the injured area. Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage, making sure it’s comfortable and not too tight. Rewrap it every few hours. Elevate the injured area with pillows to reduce swelling.

Tonya Rouse Hillenbrand is a certified fitness and nutrition expert, and a former national triathlete and duathlon team member. Send her your health questions here.