Jump to content

inflammation- why is icing good?


Hero
 Share

Recommended Posts

"Some like it hot

 

When an infection or injury takes place, the body produces a reaction called inflammation. Inflammation serves to direct the elements of the immune system to the site of infection or injury.

 

Inflammation consists of three parts-increased blood supply to the infected area; increased permeability of the small blood vessels permitting large molecules to leave the bloodstream and reach the infection; and increased migration of phagocytes toward the site of infection. Inflammation causes the infected area to look red, become swollen, and feel hot and painful.

 

The non-specific division of the immune system, including skin, mucus, cilia and phagocyte can take care of many infections and potential infections. Problems arise when phagocytes lack the ability to identify things that bypass the non-specific division of the immune system's defenses.

"

 

 

Ive always been told to put ice on the area to reduce inflammation. but if imflammation tells your body where to redirect itself and to work on the injured area....wouldnt it be best to let it swell then, so your body can protect the area and know what to fix??

 

i hear icing an imflamed area right away will help speed recovery time, but how is this true?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, good to see you got to a computer.

 

I don’t think ice has anything to do with the actual recovery. I think it just helps to take away the discomfort.

 

I have heard ice for the first 48 hours, to reduce swelling. Then apply heat. To increase blood flow to the area and speed up tissue repair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang, I know I learned this in school… I just wish I could remember the exact reason. Swelling is not telling your body to heal the area. The added fluid causes excess pain. Putting ice on an injury causes the blood vessels to constrict. I think the reason it is beneficial is because the fluids stay at the injured area longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your body is designed to protect its vital organs. When exposed to cold capillaries in your skin and extremities contact, to keep a larger volume of blood at your internal organs. This also helps to slow down heat loss. The same thing happens on a smaller area when ice is applied. I am not sure that ice “thins” the blood… I have never heard that. Also aspirin dose not “thin” the blood that is a common misconception. What really happens is it stops platelets from sticking together.

 

Side note, alcohol is a vasodilator, it opens up blood vessels. When you drink alcohol it makes you feel warm because if the increased circulation to your skin. In reality this allows for an increased loss of heat. You will become hypodermic faster if you drink.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Standard practice for injury is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). All four elements are meant to reduce swelling. The swelling is blood, but also other fluids, that rush to the area to partially immobilize it so it can heal.

 

I think that the icing protocol is valid,even though it does contradict what our bodies want to do naturally.

 

After 24 hours of icing, though, it's recomended to alternate ice with heat, which stimulates circulation to the area.

 

So the initial iciing reduces what could be excessive swelling, which could also damage tissues, perhaps, while the alternating ice/heat brings back the benefits of increased circulation to the area. If left to heal naturally, it would, but perhaps more slowly. The ice, then ice/heat takes the natural healing mechanism and tweaks it a bit, IMO.

 

Better than taking medication!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

RICE is good for pain/swelling. It has merit if you are a competitive athlete. If you are injured during practice/training, you stilll need to step on the field in 2 days. RICE is to control swelling, pain, and ultimately will allow you to perform on the field. The goal is not recovery, but to get pain under control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...