Thank goodness it’s Thursday.
I’m over work, my fridge is bare, and I need a nap. Is it the weekend yet?
Another Udi’s bagel with cream cheese:
And a smoothie – a simple one! Just soy milk, a banana, and frozen strawberries.
Is Ice Less Than Ideal?
I read this New York Times Article this morning and thought it would be an interesting discussion piece – Why Ice May Be Bad For Sore Muscles.
To sum up the article (which, I do want to point out, was based on a study with a VERY small sample size):
It may not be helpful for athletes to ice before or in the middle of activity (study source). Icing does numb soreness; however, it significantly reduced muscle strength and power for up to 15 minutes after the icing had ended.
After icing, volunteers could not jump as high, sprint as fast, or throw or strike a ball as well for 20 minutes after icing.
Icing also temporarily reduced fine motor coordination and some people experienced impaired limb proprioception (sense of where your limb was in space).
Researchers think this is because icing temporarily reduces nerve conduction and impacts the mechanical properties of the muscle tendon.
Furthermore, “a small-scale randomized trial found no discernible benefits from icing leg muscle tears. The cooled muscles did not heal faster or feel less painful than the untreated tissues. But, as the researchers point out, it is difficult to scientifically study icing, since you can’t blind people to whether they are receiving the therapy or a placebo. People generally can tell if their muscles are getting cold or not.”
As far as icing after exercise is concerned, the article states: “Most earlier studies have found little benefit from icing after exercise, but also few negative side effects.”
Although the article was mainly concerned with icing in the middle of activity, I thought it was very interesting because so many runners take ice baths and claim it helps them recover (I think ice baths are helpful after long runs).
Icing is also something that helped me beat runner’s knee (a condition that I no longer suffer from).
On the other hand, as an acupuncturist, the Husband typically frowns on icing sore muscles or joints because the process stagnantes the ‘qi’ flow of energy to the area and reduces healing time. If anything, he says that I should take a hot shower following exercise.
Do you ice after exercise? If you were an athlete in high school or college, did you ever ice immediately before or during exercise?