KStar from the MobilityWOD gives us some food for thought.
Here's your Sunday reading, what do you think?
Ready to slay a sacred cow?
Here goes. You should stop icing. We were wrong. I know. I’ve even been guilty of advocated for short icing stints on this blog. I was wrong. For the past year, I’ve been engaged in a personal moral debate about icing that in retrospect, seems silly if not out right obvious. We should not ice. For the last year, I’ve advocated for no icing with every athlete with whom I’ve helped either post-surgery or post-injury. The outcomes have been nothing short of stunning. Even way back in Episode 204, “Donnie Thompson, Strongest Powerlifter Ever, Cares About Your Swelling,” (15 months ago) we started shifting our management of swelling chiefly to compression. And that was before I met Gary Reinl ofMarc Pro. Every athlete worth his or her salt knows of the old RICE acronym. And dammit if I wasn’t already hearing and experimenting with reduced icing protocols for the last few years (remember numb and done?). My problem with NOT icing, I told myself was that I didn’t have other good tools on hand to minimize the pain of swelling (which is the real athlete problem eh?). As it turned out, the solutions presented themselves (excellent compression apparel, Dick Hartzell’s compression protocol, and the Marc Pro) at the same time that common sense matched up with my own clinical experience and test/retest ethic. Maybe it was because I finally felt like I had other mechanisms with which to deal with the swelling, that I could resolve the dissonance I had around this outdated modality. Don’t get me wrong, if you need to make something numb, ice is great. As Mr. Reinl points out, “Yes, (making something numb is good) if the short-term goal is pain control and the prevention of the body’s normal cellular and vascular response to injury.”