Should ICE be the number one go to after an injury: A review of article: Why Ice and Anti-Inflammation is Not The Answer?

Recently, an article/study has been virally circulating the internet, turning heads, questioning minds, including my own.  Have you read it yet? Why Ice and Anti-Inflammation is not the answer?  If you have not, I would like to give you the opportunity to check it out right here, right now! It’s been shared over a 10 thousand times, so it’s on the cool track!


Ironically, recently a PT told me not to over ice, or ice at all, if possible (for chronic injuries).  I said, “You are crazy. No one has ever told me such a thing.”  The truth is, the very first thing we ever hear when something is hurting whether from a doctor, a friend, a dancer, is ” Are you icing?”  It’s our first response.  Of course it numbs the pain, but does it aid in the healing process?  That is what this article discusses, and to be honest it is a very interesting theory that seems to make a lot of sense.

The discussion of over icing and using NSAIDS constantly is exactly what this article stresses over.  Along the history of time the concept of ice healing became conventional wisdom. Yet, this article states that inflammation is the first physiological response to repair and remodel tissue.  Without inflammation the tissue cannot heal.  So the question to ask then is what eliminates swelling and inflammation from the body best? The lymphatic system naturally does this by propelling the lymph to the lymphatic system and eventually through the cardiovascular system. This circulatory path helps to eliminate swelling and remodel damaged tissue. Have you ever had lymphatic drainage practices done? The next question then becomes whether icing assists in the efficiency of the lymphatic system?  An analogy was given from the article that states,” Take two tubes of toothpaste, one is under ice for 20 minutes, the other is warmed to 99 degrees.  In which tube will the toothpaste flow faster?”  So based on this analogy, it’s hard to argue his point.

After reading this article, I questioned a Doctor that I know on a personal basis about whether he had read the article, or whether he practiced this theory within his own practice.  Yes, he had read the article, and yes he explained the very same things this article discusses. He stated that icing is good for the first 48 hours of an injury and that it is not necessary in the healing process thereafter.  However, it aids in pain relief.  He explained that research and time will continually evolve medicine.

I must say eliminating the NSAIDS to get through a day or a show seems like an impossible feat.  Sometimes you have to do what you’ve got to do to get through it. Although, this theory is definitely something to ponder and keep close in mind.

Interesting, interesting stuff!  It sure makes my head spin.  What about you?  Share your comments and please take a few minutes to read the article.

Have a good Wednesday!


2 thoughts on “Should ICE be the number one go to after an injury: A review of article: Why Ice and Anti-Inflammation is Not The Answer?

  1. Wow, I actually hadn’t seen this article yet- very interesting! If only there were a way to know exactly what the best healing advice is to keep our bodies healthy…I guess we’ll just have to keep doing our research. Thanks for sharing!!

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