Sprained ankle? Strained Muscle? Our instant response has always been to grab the nearest ice pack or bag of frozen peas!
The best therapists will keep up to date with the latest research and will know that Ice is an extremely hot topic (excuse the irony) in sports medicine right now, and for good reason.
The well knows term RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) was introduced by Dr Gabe Mirkin back in 1978 and edited to POLICE (Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation 14 years later when research showed early light loading aids cell regeneration and thus improves recovery. (1)
The Science bit!!
Ice certainly has been proved to act as an initial pain killer for injuries and that's great! However when we sustain an injury, our body sends signals to our inflammatory cells (macrophages is the posh word) which release the hormone IGF-1. These cells initiate healing by killing off damaged tissue. Although when ice is applied, we may actually be inhibiting the body’s natural release of IGF-1 and delaying the start of the healing process (2)
Dr Mirkin acknowledged the limits of the initial assumption that ice would reduce inflammation and thus increase healing. Ice was finally revoked in 2019 from the injury management process with the latest and most comprehensive acronym: PEACE & LOVE takes its place!
Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs,
So lets round this up..
Ice really doesn't really have much place within injury recovery anymore! Although to play devils advocate.. while some inflammation may be warranted for recovery, too much or prolonged swelling is bad news if it is causing unwanted pressure on the tissues and restricts the movement. Then ice can be used for short periods when the injury is acute to limit the extent of the swelling to ensure light loading can as soon as possible.
To ensure you're getting the best treatment for your injury or just to get some advice call us on our work mobile 07847856383 ( We love a text too!) or feel free to Book Online for a face to face appointment in Gorseinon, Swansea. Team Select Therapy