Myth? of IcingBy Edward Barrera
Seen this or done that before?
This is something we do – in this country – if we feel pain, are sore from an injury or we over do it.
If you watch tv sports, been at a local kids soccer game, seen runners, softball players or know people who’ve had injury or experience pain.
Icing seems to be part of the game (of life) in the U.S and has been a big part of sports medicine.
How did this become our way?
Rice stands for:
This has been a mantra on playing fields since Dr. Gabe Mirkin came up with this formula back in 1978.
Since then he has changed his tune for this earlier “misinformation”.
Rest is out.
Now there is evidence ice can even delaying healing.
This might come as a surprise. It’s more than likely better to avoid icing.
Using ice does not fix the problem other than numbing an issue in our tissues. It may even do more harm than good.
Since many people use ice to block pain.
It’s likely they don’t know how to effectively relieve or control pain on account of ice being the prevalent cheaper alternative.
The Rest of the World
Interesting to note that most of the rest of the world does not use ice to manage injuries.
When I mention using ice to many of my foreign soccer playing friends, they simply shrug their shoulders and give me that “really” look.
Recovery & Performance
Since ice is still the accepted method and highly popular among recreational athletes to help recover, relying on this method is at best a band-aid approach.
There is usually little benefit derived from post exercise icing as well.
During an event, you may actually numb yourself and then push through pain rather than using this signal to begin to turn things around. This can increase the risk of injury.
Even performance can be altered since it is likely that icing interferes with the information highway of the nervous system.
The info can get slowed down and can change how our muscles respond. Not a good thing when you are either trying to do some work around the house or participating in one of your favorite activities.
People might think inflammation is a bad thing, yet is part of the normal restoration process.
While we can have a pain in the knee for instance, have you ever seen someone’s knee swell up or experienced this yourself?
Swelling is a normal part of the body attempting to get back to square one or homeostasis in this case.
We might think the swelling is too much or keeps snowballing, so of course, a lot of people will think ice is the solution.
What’s going on?
The lymphatic system helps reduce swelling.
So when we see or feel what we consider an excess of swelling, the drainage of the lymphatic system is kind of clogged and is in slow-mo mode.
To use ice to speed it up is counter productive.
Thawing out of this mindset may not be easy.
So you can check out the illusion of the ice age.
What Speeds Up Healing?
Since the lymphatic system helps to reduce swelling, it’s when we begin to contract, tense or mobilize the surrounding movement system.
M.I.C.E stands for:
M = Mobility
I = Ice
C = Compression
E = Elevation
M.I.C.E. has replaced R.I.C.E.
Now given what we’re discovering with ice, we can drop our freezing ways.
A conscious use of the muscles helps to push the fluid back into the cardiovascular system.
The movement system is not just the muscles, it includes the nervous system or highway of information which can be altered.
It’s also the fascia which surrounds the muscles and is connected in a variety of patterns throughout the body.
The muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and bones have sense receptors where we can change the output through mobility and where we can change the offending output to our muscles and movement system.
When we apply mobility in a more conscious manner, then the myth of ice can fade like the ice age.
Is is time to give up the myth of icing?