Should you ice after an injury? Science’s definitive answer. 

Is it healthful?

Yes, it’s a question that has divided nations and torn families apart. In fact, I’m pretty sure this topic is what caused Tasmania to break itself off from the Australian mainland! Some will say: ice, ice baby; while others wouldn’t let  ice in the same room as their injury.

Pro-icers claim ice reduces inflammation, which is often excessive and disrupts joint function. Anti-icers, ironically, also believe ice will reduce inflammation, but they feel that inflammation is a natural process needed for healing. So, the question we ask science today is: to ice, or not to ice?

The science:

A review of studies looking at the effects of ice on recovery from ACL surgery, found ice reduced pain at 48-hours post-surgery, but had little long term effect on function (1). Round one, anti-icers!

Another review paper looked at icing following total knee replacement. Icing post-surgery decreased blood loss in…

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