Sore muscles after working out; the recommendation was to ice it for relief and to reduce inflammation. It turns out that this universal idea was universally recommmended as a way to recover from a workout.
Two weeks ago an older patient who is a tennis player was doing just that to her feet, shoulder, and ankles after playing to reduce the soreness, yet, her body continued to hurt more over time.
Science is catching up to the practice and the icing actually can cause more damage over time, affect recovery negatively and may cause long term damage. This is why we developed our rice no more brochure(click to download) a few years ago which offered the latest evidence-based information on when to use heat and ice and other methods that are proven to help speed recovery after working out.
According to the NY Times, a new study on mice suggests that icing an area might not only be ineffective, but also is counterproductive.
The study finds that icing alters the molecular environment inside injured muscles in detrimental ways, slowing healing. The study involved mice, not people, but adds to mounting evidence that icing muscles after strenuous exercise is not just ineffective; it could be counterproductive.
A few years ago, data from other studies had suggested the same, prompting us to write the brodhure. Feel free to download it for the latest information that is evidence based. Check out the study below
Ice for Sore Muscles? Think Again.
Icing muscles after strenuous exercise is not just ineffective, it could be counterproductive, a new study in mice suggests.
By Gretchen Reynolds April 21, 2021
After a particularly vigorous workout or sports injury, many of us rely on ice packs to reduce soreness and swelling in our twanging muscles. But a cautionary new animal study finds that icing alters the molecular environment inside injured muscles in detrimental ways, slowing healing. The study involved mice, not people, but adds to mounting evidence that icing muscles after strenuous exercise is not just ineffective; it could be counterproductive.
Check inside the freezers or coolers at most gyms, locker rooms or athletes’ kitchens and you will find ice packs. Nearly as common as water bottles, they are routinely strapped onto aching limbs after grueling exercise or possible injuries. The rationale for the chilling is obvious. Ice numbs the affected area, dulling pain, and keeps swelling and inflammation at bay, which many athletes believe helps their aching muscles heal more rapidly.