Ice After Injury?

Debate recently has centered around the long used RICE for post injury therapy.  New information is bringing the use of ice into question as evidence shows that ice can slow healing even if it does effect pain levels.  Healthy, safe rehabilitation post injury is key but exercise rehab at the right time in the right way is more important.  After any injury, evaluation is crucial to determine the right approach and the sooner the better.  At Rising Sun Chiropractic the first step is making sure you are in the right place post injury followed by a treatment plan that gets you back to your best as soon as possible.  A 2012 editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests dropping RICE and replacing it  with a different set of guidelines: protection, optimal loading, ice, compression, and elevation (POLICE).  We are learning that resting is actually counter productive and will lead to prolonged recovery and a less effective healing.  Dr. Nelson encourages a return to as near normal life as possible but is always making sure recommendations match the injury state and the progression of healing.  The next big change is dropping the ice.  What?  I know your whole life you were told ice an injury, Dr. Nelson has been advising ice up until recently.  What changed?  A article written by the doctor that started the acronym RICE, Gabe Mirkin, MD, he refers to a study that shows anytime we use cortisone-type drugs, almost all pain-relieving medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Pharmaceuticals, 2010;3(5)) immune suppressants that are often used to treat arthritis, cancer or psoriasis, applying cold packs or ice, and anything else that blocks the immune response to injury we slow down repair to a crawl.  The natural inflammatory response that occurs post injury is full of chemical mediators that tell the area how to heal properly and as quickly as possible with the tools at hand.  Suppressing the inflammatory process as with ice or NSAIDS  is different than assisting it with healthy foods, and natural supplements that speed recovery.  Dr. Mirkin does suggest limited ice immediately after an injury for pain relief but cautions use more than 6 hours after an injury.

Take away-1)Ice slows healing 2)Safe movements post injury speeds recovery 3)Listen to your body don’t push take breaks but keep active.  Always seek medical attention for specific questions or diagnoses.

With the recent warm up make sure that you are listening to your body when doing the weekend warrior thing and if Monday comes and your body is still saying something give Rising Sun Chiropractic a call and we will help you get back to it.

Enjoy the warmth!

Dr. Seth Nelson

Rising Sun Chiropractic, St. Peter, MN

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