Should You Ice an injury?

For decades, icing has been a go-to treatment for after an injury. It has been touted as a way to reduce inflammation and swelling. However, swelling and inflammation are actually part of the healing process! Therefore, by arresting the inflammatory process by icing, we can actually DELAY healing!

Instead of icing, we recommend following PEACE (during the acute stages after injury) and LOVE (for longer term management). 

PEACE and LOVE stands for:

– Protection: Limit activities that increase pain

– Elevation: To help reduce swelling and promote circulation and flushing of excess fluid in the injured area, elevate the affected body part frequently. 

– Avoid Anti-inflammatories and icing as they can inhibit tissue healing. 

– Compression: Utilize compression sleeves or garments to further promote flushing of the affected area and to reduce swelling. 

– Education: Speak to a medical professional about further treatment to help you return to full strength and functioning as quickly and as safely as possible!

– Load: Gradually return to normal activity. Listen to your body as you progressively load the affected area. Avoid sharp pain, but understand that there may be some soreness in the injured area as you get back to your normal routine!

– Optimism: Having a positive outlook is a must for conditioning your brain for recovery. Be confident and try to remain optimistic as you work through your injury. 

– Vascularization: Find cardiovascular activities that promote blood flow through the affected tissues to further promote tissue healing, such as biking, swimming or walking. 

– Exercise: Working on mobility, stability, strength and conditioning in the affected areas will promote recovery and prevention of future injury too! 

The next time you find yourself nursing an ache or pain, try PEACE and LOVE! Working with a physical therapist to help guide you in your recovery can also help you to get back on track safely. Let us help you at Ironhorse PT & Pilates to see you through from initial injury to return to activity and sport and beyond!

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