This Is The Frustrating Reason Why You Should Never Ice Injuries

We’ve all done it. Fallen over, injured ourselves somehow and reached for an ice pack (or frozen peas) and some Ibuprofen to combat the initial pain and avoid it getting worse.

According to physical therapists at Tufts University School of Medicine, this is actually outdated and is likely hindering your healing process, rather than helping it.

Unfortunately, if you really want your body to heal, you need to let it experience some of that pain and inflammation.

Why we shouldn’t ice our injuries

Speaking to Futurity, physical therapist Craig Wassinger said: “A lot has changed recently because ice decreases blood flow to the area and it decreases the inflammatory process to the tissues that are injured.

“In that instance, what you’re doing is limiting your body’s ability to heal itself when you’re putting ice on an acute musculoskeletal injury. Researchers are advocating that we get away from icing initially because you don’t want to limit your body’s ability to heal itself.”

He went on to explain that the human body has adapted over evolution to manage itself, and now we understand the science of how it can decrease inflammation on its own—and that’s a good thing.

Finally, Wassinger added: “Inflammation, even though it’s painful, is helpful for our body tissues to recover.”

What we should do to injuries in the first instance

Another physical therapist, Jeff Foucrier, explained what we should do in the first instance after an injury. He said: ” In the immediate management of soft tissue injury, there’s a new acronym that’s been encouraged by experts: PEACE and LOVE.

“PEACE stands for Protection, Elevation, Avoid anti-inflammatories, Compression, and education. PEACE is what you would follow initially, and LOVE would come after, which stands for Love, Optimism—which speaks to the psychosocial component tied to healing—Vascularisation, and Exercise.

“Notice, too, that in this there’s no heat or ice. All of it is focused on allowing your body to do its job.”