There have been a number of well conducted studies that have been published in both the United States and Europe that indicate that what we thought we knew about ice therapy may be wrong. This group of four studies looked at individuals who were given ice treatments after prolonged physical activity those who are recovering from acute injuries and those with simple aches and pains. I personally reviewed the studies find out the research methodology to make sure that it was done in a way that I thought I made logical sense in order to correctly measure what it is they were looking for under realistic conditions. Many times when you read research studies within your own field you tend to find research methodology is itself a logical and flawed.
The new research all points to the idea that the application of ice to prevent injury into acutely treat injury may actually hinder the bodies inflammation response which many people commonly associated with the healing response. The research indicates that the more natural route would be to allow the inflammation response to occur for a period of time in order to call the bodies tension to the area of needed repair first and then apply ice in small amounts later. It also shows among athletes that taking an ice bath after activity in order to prevent injuries may actually cause problems with muscle and facial tissue and create undue additional stress on internal organs. Commonly held belief that take an ice bath after physical exertion would prevent injuries may actually in their research methodology create more additional problems because it hinders the inflammation or healing response for a substantial period of time.
The recommendation is with this series of findings that individuals wait for longer periods of time to allow the information response to subside for a period of 6 to 7 hours before applying any kind of ice to an area or to the entire body. This research and findings their do coincide more with traditional Chinese medicine methodology for injury recovery than many people would like to admit. Traditional Western theory on I seen for inflammation seems to be at least in some extent found to be not as beneficial as once thought and goes against the principles in Western medicine. And traditional Chinese medicine it is thought that all body functions should have a gentle rise and fall in activity this would include the inflammation response. Traditional Chinese medicine it is thought that if you were warm you need to cool off in order to balance out your body's temperature if you are hungry you eat and if you were thirsty you drink all to create total body balance. This research would coincide with that idea that is better to make a gentle recovery then a fast recovery in order to allow the body to do the most work to heal you to return to balance when it is ready rather than to force the body and a much more rapid pace. Most often what you will find in this research is that there is some kind of biased or some kind of flood of research logic and over to disassociate other possible contributors to the outcome of the research. Most people would call those conditions or controls. All of the research studies that I am discussing here he was controls that seem realistic and logical but yet would still leave very little doubt as to the actual cost to the change Saul with and subjects.
So you may ask what does this mean for icing after injuries as an individual patient and how I'll Tony change how he conducts his massage therapy sessions? After a great deal of thought I have decided that my recommendations in most cases will be that if an area becomes sore after massage therapy or after physical activity that is not severe in nature that individual should wait at least until they go to bed to apply ice to anyone area of the body. And more extreme circumstances such as a broken ankle knee something that will immediately swell I would limit the amount of ice to shorter periods of time less often. And when you take into account that in some cases they will prescribe heavy anti-inflammatory medications this won't only decrease the inflammation response more and would further be contraindicated by this research in such extreme doses as we are presently same as the norm.