End of RICE age: ICE inflammation Rx

Ice inflammation treatment. Does it really work to our best advantage? We hear so often about people using ice to stop pain after injury or athletic performance. I have always been a bit skeptical. It seemed to me that the inflammatory process was important somehow, body intelligence. Josh Stone, Athletic Trainer, has been making the same point that ice may be counterproductive to healing and repair after injury.

In his blog Josh Stone: Why ice and anti-inflammatory meds may not be the answer, Josh has us questioning the anecdotal evidence for the use of rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications to limit or stop the inflammatory process. He makes the point that maybe our body’s wisdom of creating inflammation is the way to go, not ice inflammation treatment.

In a more recent blog Josh (RICE the end of an ice age) points out the recent results of Gabe Mirkin, the coiner of the RICE term.

Coaches have used my “RICE” guideline for decades, but now it appears that both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping.” – Gabe Mirkin, MD, March 2014

Ice Inflammation Treatment or Movement

Movement is the healer. For years the medical world kept people in bed after surgery, avoiding movement, under the assumption that rest was best. Then it was discovered that the sooner you got the body moving the faster the recovery and the quicker the healing. According to Wolf’s Law the body, bone, and connective tissues all form according to the stresses that you put on them. So, it makes perfect sense to get and keep the body moving. For many injuries and traumas the only movement you can make are micro movements, not gross motor movements. Movement helps the body redefine the layers of the connective tissues as they heal. Otherwise, scar tissue and adhesions form that later limit movement and optimal functioning.

The basis of Structural Integration (Hellerwork, Rolfing) is getting movement to happen again between layers of connective tissues, between the skin and the first deep layer of muscular fascia, between the layers of muscle, between the nerves and their surrounding tissues and muscles, between the blood and lymph vessels and their surrounding structures, within the connective tissue structure surrounding muscle fibers.

At best ice inflammation treatment should perhaps be limited to five minute to ten minute intervals with at least twenty minutes in between each icing. Here are some suggestions Dr Mirkin on using ice inflammation treatment




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