When you feel swollen and want to speed up the healing process or need to recover from a workout, you probably reach for an ice pack. Back pain or knee soreness? Grab an ice pack. However, there has been no published peer-reviewed research that has proven that ice can help you heal. Recent studies have even shown the opposite. Ice can slow the healing process and also increase swelling, and further damage could occur. To keep yourself healthy and heal faster, there are other methods besides ice to help.

How Your Body Reacts To An Injury

It’s vital to know how the body reacts to an injury to assign treatment correctly. When you’re injured, your body sends blood to the affected area. This causes inflammation, or in simpler terms when an area of the body gets red and swollen. Your body does this because the blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the injured area, and flushes out any waste. When you use ice, it restricts this blood flow by closing up your blood vessels. This might decrease swelling, but our bodies have natural healing processes that we need to trust. The pain you experience during swelling is due to a build-up of white blood cells and other chemicals putting pressure on nerves.

The “RICE” Protocol Is Not Efficient

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol) is a term that Dr. Gabe Mirkin created for treatment for acute and chronic sports injuries. Muscle pain can be relieved with ice, yes, but you could be slowing down the immune response. While ice is the cheapest and easily found form of treatment, it may not be the right one. Pain can return once the tissue warms back up, and your body responds to the injury again.

Heal without Ice

Doctors and therapists still use ice because they always have. By looking at evidence-based research, however, we see that faster recoveries happen without ice. Since more and more people realize this, there are other methods to feel better.

It is essential to go through three phases when going through recovery. Inflammation, repair, and remodeling are crucial to healing your body. The body clears swelling through the vessels of the lymphatic system. Movement is necessary to move fluid through your vessels, and when you sit with an ice pack, it can create the opposite effect. Movement can facilitate healing. Visiting a chiropractor can also help with a targeted treatment plan designed to help ease recovery.

Ice Stunts Cell Activity

Whether it’s a sports injury or pain from a workout, ice is not always the solution. Many athletes use ice baths after training, but it reduces long- term muscle mass gains and strength. How? It stunts the cell activity, which is vital for making stronger muscles. You may think you are reducing inflammation, but you’re making it harder for your body to recover.

There are other ways to heal besides ice, and Reza Chiropractic can help determine what is right for you.

The Graston Technique® (GT)

An acute injury may not be as simple. GT is an innovative and proven method to detect and treat areas with scar tissue adhesions, fascial restrictions, and a limited range of motion. Dr. Reza uses this methodology and instruments to help resolve chronic conditions, provide a shorter treatment time, and a faster recovery. In some cases, a reduced need for anti-inflammatory medicine.

GT therapy can help those with chronic or acute conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, lumbar sprain or strain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, among others. Most injuries are resolved after four or five weeks of consistent therapy.

Try Personal Training

A comprehensive approach can help you no matter your body type. Training can help you develop a plan to achieve your goals based on proven methods. Dr. Ghassemi can create a plan for you to avoid injury and help you address your specific needs. He is a motivator and will hold you accountable for your progress. He believes what you do with your meal planning, and nutrition is just as important as proper training. Be prepared for a comprehensive approach that will keep you on track and keep you from undoing or working against what happens during your training sessions. Dr. Ghassemi spent years as an athlete at both the amateur and semi-professional level, and he can be trusted to help you train properly and avoid injury.

Heal Without Ice Using Corrective Exercises

Problems such as headaches and constant neck and back pain are due to improper muscle use, which leads to injuries over time. Reza Chiropractic teaches “blueprint” exercises, which help strengthen muscles and correct any irregularities. These techniques can help improve your symptoms and address the underlying causes. These targeted exercises can also help relieve pain. Targeting specific activities for each patient helps to alleviate pain and assists them in living healthier, more balanced lives.

While using ice may be tempting for relief quickly, it might not be the right choice for you and your specific injury and inflammation. Consider all of your options and speak to a professional who can help come up with a treatment plan. Every patient and treatment is different depending on the cause and location of the injury.

Dr. Reza Ghassemi

If you are looking for a clinician certified in performing the patented procedure, call a trusted, well-educated chiropractor like Dr. Reza Ghassemi in St. Petersburg. In addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, as well as a Physical Therapy degree.

Contact us

No stranger to alternative therapies, Dr. Ghassemi is a certified Interactive Metronome provider, a certified Kinesio Taping practitioner, and industry leaders who have trained him in GT.Contact Reza Chiropractic or call today at (727) 526-7700 to discover what is best for you.