By Penny Hill | CNA Media Team
Do you recognize this acronym? It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, the standard of treatment for injuries for as long as I can remember. In fact, it began to be promoted around 1978 by sports medicine doctor Gabe Mirkin. It’s been the recommended treatment ever since. Until recently.
We were taught that inflammation, although a natural response, was often more detrimental than helpful. I remember feeling that there was something wrong about dismissing the natural bodily response, but have passed this on and taught it for all these years.
In this excerpt from a recent article on hydrotherapy:
“Mirkin originally thought using ice immediately after an injury would delay swelling and reduce pain, but the latest research shows that swelling is a sign of white blood cells rushing to a damaged area to heal it. In 2015, Mirkin backtracked his icing recommendations after finding that many scientific studies show no healing benefits.”
The current recommendations are
- skip ice unless pain is severe, then only 2-3 times for no more than 15-20 minutes (actual ice should be used for only a few minutes at most due to the danger of frost bite, gel packs and frozen peas can be used for longer periods)
- nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatories for only the first 24-48 hours
- compression and inflammation are still recommended
I’ve told clients many times over the years that in everything there are fads, including medicine. My massage teachers taught us in our hydrotherapy course the value of “contrast baths,” meaning alternating ice and heat. Some years after I was out of school USE ONLY ICE became the recommendation, as sports therapy began it’s rise, and now we’ve swung back to what I was originally taught.
You can read more about this and other hydrotherapy tools in the latest issue of Massage and Bodywork Magazine. Page 70 will take you to this article, and page 72 to the ice recommendations in particular. Click here to view the current issue: http://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/1276187-september-october-2020/0?
I hope you don’t need this advice any time, but now you know!
Penny Hill, LMT provides stress relief to her neighbors through her businesses, Rising Sun Massage, risingsunmassage.massagetherapy.com and EFT Tapping For Stress Relief. For more EFT resources & contact information go to CalmHealthEase.com