Icing has always been the #1 aspect of the R.I.C.E method. But is it really effective in recovery? Does it truly speed up the process and allow you to perform better?
Icing actually does the opposite of what your body is trying to do. Your body heats up and swells in order to send your brain a signal that there needs to be repairs done in that area.
When you ice this area you are giving your body and brain the opposite signal and this actually slows recovery!
Now you may be asking , what should I do then Moh?
What you should do is try the sauna out or take a hot shower and massage the injury. This will help out SO much to the point that after you do this, you will feel as if your injury is almost gone. Now, this won't cure your injury at all, but it is far more effective than if you were to ice your injury and feel stiff for the rest of the day. The heat makes you feel less still and more agile.
Also, avoid any type of medications. They are even worse for you than icing is. These medications send actual chemical signals to your brain stopping it from feeling the heat and swelling but also stopping the recovery completely until it wears off. The problem with this is you will be increasing recovery time by a significant amount. Unless you've had major surgery, avoid ice and pain medications at all costs.
Sometimes Ice is good after a hard workout if you don't have any injuries, but it's best to get a warm shower or sauna session in!
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