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Treating injuries with ice

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2010 at 10:39 PM

I have heard from Tom Bisio ( Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth ), and some other sources relating to eastern medicine that icing injuries to reduce inflammation is bad for the long term health of your soft tissue, and can add pain and stiffness to the injury years after it heals. The types of injuries that Bisio talks about ice being no good for are tears, sprains, pulls, etc. Would love to hear some responses from both sides ( pro-ice, ant-ice ).

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on October 28, 2010
at 08:09 PM

Perhaps part of the relief of ice is the numbing effect?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 18, 2010
at 03:43 AM

After knee replacement surgery my husband got relief from icing and I couldn't stand it- warmth gave me relief. maybe it is an individual reaction.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:35 AM

And here is this, too: http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/tips-for-success/ice-or-heat/article/651288dc78803110VgnVCM10000013281eac____

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:32 AM

Applying cold therapy to a tissue injury, limits the inflammatory response by causing the blood vessels to constrict (vasoconstriction). This limits the blood flow to the injured site, moderating the release of the vasoactive substances and thus minimizes the pain and swelling in the afflicted area.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:18 AM

Icing actually increases blood flow to the area because the body wants to restore normal temperature.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on October 13, 2010
at 11:02 PM

I was thinking about this the other day. Why immediately curtail your body's natural reaction?

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5 Answers

1
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:16 AM

From what I understand, you are supposed to ice it when the injury first occurs, for no more than 20 minutes at a time. The length of time you keep ice on it is what will damage the skin tissue. After the first couple days, you want to use heat because the injury needs blood to heal. Again, only heat for about 20 minutes at a time.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:35 AM

And here is this, too: http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/tips-for-success/ice-or-heat/article/651288dc78803110VgnVCM10000013281eac____

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:32 AM

Applying cold therapy to a tissue injury, limits the inflammatory response by causing the blood vessels to constrict (vasoconstriction). This limits the blood flow to the injured site, moderating the release of the vasoactive substances and thus minimizes the pain and swelling in the afflicted area.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:18 AM

Icing actually increases blood flow to the area because the body wants to restore normal temperature.

0
61536966b95d03ee41b81b27e25c905d

on November 11, 2011
at 05:12 PM

After reading a lot about this subject, I think people's confusion has to do with when they are icing. Icing is not bad for you. It is only bad if you ice for more than 20 minutes at a time, or put ice directly on your skin. Ice is not meant to heal the injury but to provide immediate relief from pain and swelling.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on December 23, 2010
at 06:01 PM

I've been using heat after reading those studies. It is definitely making my wrist feel better, but I honestly don't know if it is helping it to heal. I would assume so because heat increases blood flow.

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 14, 2010
at 03:58 AM

I have wondered about this myself. I have tried the icing of injuries. As best as I can tell, I never notice any improvement or benefit from icing vs doing nothing. I have often wondered what research is behind it and how much it really helps, if any. Here is an interesting synopsis of current research that seems to suggest that not much decent reearch has really looked at the main issue which is, does icing (cryotherapy) really speed overall recovery? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522152/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 18, 2010
at 03:43 AM

After knee replacement surgery my husband got relief from icing and I couldn't stand it- warmth gave me relief. maybe it is an individual reaction.

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on October 28, 2010
at 08:09 PM

Perhaps part of the relief of ice is the numbing effect?

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