When it comes to inflammation and injury, the age-old question has been “Should I apply ice”?
For years now athletes have been following what is known in short as the RICE protocol. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
How does it work?
Ice works by lessening the blood flow to the injured area. This reduces swelling and inflammation temporarily. It also reduces pain because of its numbing effect. The thing is that once your cells warm up again, the inflammatory process resumes.
Inflammation, though it certainly can be uncomfortable, is actually part of the healing process. When an initial injury happens the blood vessels in that area dilate. That makes the area red and swollen rather quickly. With that increase in blood also comes proteins and other chemicals signaling the body’s need to repair the muscle, skin or ligaments at the site.
Because of this – over icing can actually delay healing
The most recent studies show that inhibiting your bodies natural inflammatory response can slow healing.
The New School Protocol
Ice does make things feel better. Applying ice immediately following an injury and for a few hours post is acceptable. Just make sure to do it in small five minute increments leaving it off for thirty minutes allowing the blood to reflow to the area. After the initial few hours, it will no longer be an effective treatment.
The Use of Ice in Chiropractic Care
Ice packs are used in conjunction with electrostimulation which is often done adjacent to chiropractic care as well as in sports injury therapy for pain relief and healing. It helps to quell pain by stimulating the larger nerves that can override the smaller nerve fibers that produce pain. Ice helps to assist in pain relief and is only used in a short one time per visit burst.
Chiropractor in Ft Myers, FL, and Naples, FL
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers and Naples, can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.