Revisiting this old chestnut. ICE!
Why do you want to go against nature and stop blood, Qi, rbc’s and wbc’s etc from getting to an injured area?
“Ice Is for Dead People” – Ice is useful for preserving things in static state. It slows or halts the decay of food and dead bodies but does not help damaged tissue repair itself. Ice does reduce the initial swelling and inflammation of a fresh injury, and it does reduce pain, but at a cost.
Contracting local blood vessels and tissues by freezing them inhibits the restoration of normal circulation. The static blood and fluids congeal, contracts, and harden with icing, making them harder or impossible to disperse later. It is not uncommon to see a sprained ankle that was iced still slightly swollen more than a year after the original injury.
The Chinese knew this for thousands of years and have been using alternative methods to accelerate the healing process by not disturbing the body’s natural ability to heal. It’s interesting that science has just caught up.
The Science: Just read this phenomenal book, “Iced” by Dr. Gary Reinl. We love quick fixes, and are blissfully quick to believe that arbitrarily putting ice on an injured area is more effective than letting the body do what it’s perfected through millennia of evolution – keeping the body healthy.
There are a grand total of ZERO peer-reviewed articles that have found that ice enhances the healing process. (BJSM, 2012). If icing were introduced today, the FDA would never approve it.
Numerous studies have found that icing delays the healing process by interrupting the local neuromuscular connection, inhibiting the muscle pump and preventing the travel of lymphatic fluid back into circulation (JSCR, 2013)
Icing has been found to increase the BACKFLOW of lymphatic fluid, thus not only not helping, but slowing the healing process it is supposed to help. (AJSM, 1986)
Icing post-workout has been found to attenuate post-exercise strength gains and slow recovery (JSCR, 2013).
Instead, heal your body with controlled, relatively pain-free motions to activate the natural muscle pump.
Try it – Add warmth!