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Does ice impede healing?

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Earlier this week I shared my ice vs. heat article on social media. Although super popular, I got lots of pushback from icing apostates who are convinced that icing is bad because it supposedly interferes with natural healing.

Not so fast, debunkers! I love a good debunking as much as the next guy — probably more, actually! — but I just don’t buy this one.

The argument that icing impedes healing is speculative and clearly contradicted by the clinical evidence. In fact, icing appears to have no effect on recovery at all, good or bad. There is no obvious impeding going on, no matter how much “common sense” it makes, regardless of what we think we know about inflammation and the effects of icing.

And there are other problems, like the assumption that everything natural is good. It’s really not.

Read more! I’ve just upgraded my commentary on this topic: see the first section of Icing for Injuries, Tendinitis, and Inflammation.

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