The Importance of Icing

I am sure that you have heard of the term R.I.C.E. Which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. The most important part of R.I.C.E that I cannot stress enough is ICING. Ice is very beneficial for everyone. It does not matter what your goal is, your age, gender or your activity level is. Ice will reduce inflammation, decreases joint swelling, and aid in recovery by reducing soreness and decrease the build up of lactic acid.

Sometimes when you have a sore knee or ankle the problem does not stem from the point of soreness. This is where icing becomes important more than just the troubled area becomes important. After a hard and strenuous workout you should ice all of the muscles and joints that have been used. I alway suggest to my clients and athletes to take an ice bath or ice multiple areas that connect to the injured area. Not everyone loves an ice bath but it is the best way to ice multiple areas at once. As much as you may not enjoy getting into a freezing cold bath it will help you feel recovered the next day without pain. According to Gray Cook "icing a knee without examining the ankle or hip is like pulling the battery out of the smoke detector. The relief is short-lived." Because of this I suggest that the next time after you have had a hard workout don't just ice the sore knee. So next time you work out hard try an ice bath for recovery and see how much of a difference it actually makes in your ability to recover and how it reduces the likelihood of getting injured.   Alicia Bell  


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