For years I handed out an ice pack to new patients as a welcome gift. It made sense…usually people were in pain on their first visit and everyone knows you are supposed to ice an acute injury, right?
In the last six months, I stopped handing out the ice packs. It’s not because they were expensive or that patients didn’t like them. It’s because new research has come out that shows that icing acute injuries such as sprains slows down the healing process. How could I give them something that would make their recovery slower?
Instead of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate), we are learning that many acute injuries do better with targeted exercises/movement, natural anti-inflammatory supplements (like physician grade Turmeric and anti-inflammatory enzymes), chiropractic care and massage therapy. Babying a bad back or sprained ankle can lead to longer-term issues and chronic pain.
The Washington Post published a great article on “Why Icing A Sprain Doesn’t Help and Could Slow Recovery.” I encourage all of my patients to read it and think twice the next time they reach for an ice pack. Stay active, try natural anti-inflammatory supplements and see your chiropractor quickly to nip the problem in the bud!
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