If you have ever been involved in sports, you may have heard the term RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. The idea of icing a sprain has for years been the gospel of athletic trainers, coaches and even doctors.
RICE no more.
Science is catching up to this common practice and apparently, icing for long periods of time adversely affects healing. This is why a couple of years ago we developed a new brochure for both of our offices called RICE no more. You can download the brochure using this link;rice no more 3-7-17.
As with many procedures commonly used, science has a way of catching up with practice, and ice is no exception.
Recently, the Washington Post looked at the research and shares their findings on how ice can actually slow recovery. Check it out below
Why icing a sprain doesn’t help, and could slow recovery
By Andrew P. Han
If you’ve ever needed to recover from an athletic injury, you’ve probably used ice to reduce soreness and swelling. For decades, doctors and athletic trainers have recommended RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation — to reduce the pain and inflammation of sprained ankles. Inflammation has been viewed as the enemy of recovery.
But what if that’s not quite right? What if inflammation is an indication of recovery, and icing and other cold-based “cryotherapy” only delays it?
Icing, it turns out, is like flossing: an ingrained practice that seems practical but is not strongly supported by clinical evidence. The oldest justifications for icing, dating to the 1970s, have melted under scientific scrutiny, some cryotherapy researchers say, and most scientific studies on icing haven’t provided the solid results that would justify its popularity. This is true, they say, both for icing for daily recovery and for an injury.