So, you've been told to ice your injury - big deal, how's that gonna help?
Ice is a little miracle worker when it come to healing, here's why:
• Pain reduction.
• Decreases swelling.
• Localises inflammation.
• Lowers the temperature.
• Constricts blood vessels - keeping secondary injuries such as bruising to a minimum.
Use a gel ice pack or bag of frozen peas (wrapped up in a cloth), cooling sprays are very popular but don't penetrate any further than the skin - avoid them.
Apply ice for 10 - 15 minutes, let the skin return to normal temperature, then repeat twice more - up to 4 times a day.
If you're training hard (and you are brave enough to do this) a cold shower after a workout will give the whole body the benefits mentioned above whilst decreasing DOMS and reducing recovery times.
What about heat?
Lots of folks like to apply heat, especially on a back strain - if your injury is less than 72 hours old, stick with the ice - I'll talk more about applying heat in my next post....
Thanks for reading!