There has been some recent research that has shown that the use of ice on a new (acute) injury may not be that helpful and in fact, may result in a poorer healing outcome.
The research showed that injured tendons that were treated with ice immediately after injury had somewhat less pain and swelling but they also had less remodeling and tissue regeneration which resulted in poorer quality healing. From these findings it is thought that ice may actually interrupt the natural healing process by successfully reducing the inflammation (anti-inflammatory). Unfortunately, the flip side of this is poor quality tissue repair thus leaving the injured tissue vulnerable to further injury.
It seems we need the inflammatory phase to take place in order to activate the full healing process! In summary, this research is calling into question long held beliefs and is advising against the use of any anti-inflammatory agent, including ice and medicine, in the treatment of acute injuries! For more information, seek the advice of your physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
Leslie is a registered physiotherapist. A graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, she has practiced in a variety of fields and locations including a 3 year stint in England. Her experience is varied but has primarily focused in an out-patient environment and in private practice since 1996. Over the years Leslie has completed many post-graduate training courses.
Her main interests are in biomechanics, manual therapy and preventative education. She also enjoys working with dancers and athletes to overcome injury and develop improved training programs for strength development and injury prevention. Lisa is fully trained in the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and therapy. She is the owner/operator of ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre!