f Why You Are Never Too Old For Crossfit!!!!!: Don't Ice An Injury!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't Ice An Injury!

In an effort to be more contentiousness with my blogging, I have decided to make it a goal to post at least once a week. My friend Heather Bergeron at http://www.hbunfiltered.com (check out this blog,it is funny and informative on all things crossfit and any other thing she can think of) posts once a day, NO.Matter.What. So, being realistic, I think that once a week should be manageable. We'll see.


 I have gotten a bunch of messages from other Crossfitters, who have bad knees, who have asked about working out with a knee replacement, what made me get the knee replacement, how my knee feels now, etc....
Truthfully, I got the first knee replacement because I couldn't do most crossfit workouts without modifying or without pain and, just walking across the street had become a bit of a chore. I probably could have gone on with my life, limping and just riding the exercise bike, and warded off a replacement for quite a few years. At that time in my life though, that wasn't an option. I was willing to take any measure to try to get back into the "game". (Being able to walk without pain was a bonus)
These days, my left knee is starting to hurt and I have started to wrap my head around getting my second knee replaced. It won't happen though until it is an absolute necessity. Walking will have to be a chore, crossfit impossible and working difficult. Then, I will have the surgery.  Since I know what to expect now, it will be a well thought out decision. I am very happy with the results from the first surgery but, it is a long and tedious recovery. One I am not in a hurry to repeat if I don't have to. 

One of the things I did during my recovery was ice, ice, ice, and more ice. Recently I have been hearing and reading that ice might not be the way to go during a long term recovery. A number of different articles suggest that:

1. "Topical ice applications can cause muscle damage, fatigue, and delayed recovery in elite athletes"

2. " Ice applications can negatively affect athletic performance"

3. " Ice Also Reduces Strength, Speed, Endurance and Coordination"

4. " Ice hinders healing by decreasing blood flow"

5. “Immobilization and rest delay soft tissue healing (I have firsthand experience with this theory. I went to crossfit within 3 weeks of my surgery and back to work within 6 weeks. I definitely felt better moving.)

Read this entire article HERE.  

It is very technical but if you read through it it does make sense. 

Another article I found was on the website "Mark's Daily Apple" . This article is much more user friendly and suggests that, while ice immediately after an injury may reduce pain, it does not appear to help in the healing process and may in fact hinder it. 
 “Ultimately, I don’t think icing is as unequivocally detrimental to the healing process. It can certainly reduce pain and, if that’s the only way for you to get the tissues moving, that’s a good thing (as long as you don’t move too much too fast and end up re-injuring the weakened tissue). And it can likely prevent secondary tissue damage, particularly if you apply it shortly after an acute injury. But the extended, constant, day-in day-out cryotherapy that some of us feel is absolutely necessary anytime a tissue feels less than perfect? No. It seems clear to me that compression and mobilization of the injured area are likely more important and effective than ice"
Mark also mentions that KStar ,Kelly Starrett of Mobility Wod fame ,does not like the use of ice. See his video HERE 
Finally, to totally confuse the issue I found one additional theory, METH. Movement,Elevation,Traction, and Heat. He hypothesizes that: 

"Furthermore, compression can shut down blood flow to the area, whereas traction will release the pressure. Movement will encourage blood that's rich with healing factors such as oxygen and white and red blood cells to flow to the area"
To read this article please click HERE

So, are you totally confused?  Bottom line, the use of ice should be kept to a minimum. Keep moving and maybe employ moist heat. I think that I'll follow this advice after my next surgery.


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