1) Rest - Rest the part that is injured. This can be in the form of not doing heavy work or using a temporary bandage or splint for resting the joint

2) Ice - Application of ice on the region can reduce the swelling and also bring down the pain

3) Compression - Gentle compression around the joint in the form of a bandage can both prevent worsening the swelling and also bring down pain by restricting movements

4) Elevation - Keeping the leg elevated on a stool or chair can bring down the swelling in the leg and foot by allowing blood flow back to the heart

5) Anti-inflammatory medication - If the pain has not come down yet, approach your doctor for an anti-inflammatory medication

The above 5 steps go with the mneomonic RICEA.

If the pain and swelling and knee function has not improved, or if there is instability/ unsteadiness or a feeling of giving away in the knee, then there is a serious problem in your knee. A consultation with an Orthopaedicician, a Sports surgeon or a Sports Physician is recommended to avoid further damage to your knee.

Dr. Saseendar,

Consultant Arthroscopy and Sports Surgeon,

Chairman, CARE Sports Injury (www.caresportsinjury.com)