The million-dollar question is whether you should ice or not ice after a soft-tissue injury?
Arguably the most common and well-known principle of soft-tissue injury management is the use of ice in the treatment of acute injuries. The way health professionals treat injuries is continually changing based on the most up-to-date research available.
Over the last 40 years, there has been many iterations of acute management protocols. Originally coined by Dr Gabe Mirkin in 1987, the RICE protocol was developed, before transitioning to PRICE and then POLICE.
The aim of all three of these protocols was to minimise the inflammatory response to accelerate healing. As we all now know, inflammation is the body’s natural response to an acute injury to initiate the healing process.
In short, the inflammatory response causes an increase in blood cells in the injured site which are responsible for clearing up damaged tissue and initiating the tissue repair process. The use of ice is detrimental to this healing process as it is known as a vasoconstrictor which reduces blood flow to the injured site.
In 2014, Dr Mirkin retracted ice from his initial protocol after acknowledging the latest changes in the research (the necessary benefits of the inflammatory process in tissue healing).
In 2019, PEACE + LOVE was developed by Blaise & Esculier which is the current standard practice. This new acronym highlights the importance of educating patients and addressing psychosocial factors to enhance recovery (Dubois & Esculier, 2019).
The management of soft-tissue injuries is ever changing; however, it is important to note that ice may have some benefits depending on the circumstance.
Inflammation is natural to the normal tissue healing process, but too much or prolonged oedema (swelling) is not.
In these cases, ice may be a viable option to limit the extent of swelling instead of preventing all of it.
Want To Know More?
We’d suggest contacting our team at Precision Physio, so that we can help you with your individual case and if you’ve been injured, your recovery.
How Do I Book An Appointment?
We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call any of these numbers to schedule a session:
- Precision Physio Concord: 02 9736 3950
- Precision Physio St Marys: 02 9623 2220
- Precision Physio Mt Druitt: 02 9188 2552
Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!
To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.