Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Icing Can Make Sore Muscles Worse

Since we're discussing recovery, a column in today's New York Times caught my eye.  Recent scientific studies suggest that, while icing may feel good, it may not be good for sore muscles.

Some of the study results are common sense: if you ice yourself and then jump immediately back into an athletic activity, you may end up hurting yourself, because the cold, numb muscle lacks motor coordination. 

But even if you plan to just ice and rest up, these studies suggest that the cooled muscles do not heal any faster than un-iced tissues.

These are just a few, small-scale studies.  If icing works for you, go for it!  But if not, don't be afraid to question the conventional wisdom. 

Related posts:
rest, recovery and active recovery

1 comment:

  1. interesting.

    for me, given the nerve issues, icing is just the way i keep inflammation down (much happier to ice than to use ibuprofen).

    i'm curious how ice affects tendons and nerves... besides lessening their parallel functions with muscles. i cannot see myself ever icing in the middle of an activity, but i've certainly found it useful in keep flares of pain down after exercise by reducing inflamation.