Gale Bernhardt past USA Triathlon team coach and World Cup triathlon coach presents some “revisionist” thinking concerning the previously accepted recovery protocols for bicycle injuries in her latest article.

Most of us know the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation protocol for injury; however, some research concludes that “…ice does exactly the opposite: it actually delays the recovery process… an objective of the RICE protocol was to stop inflammation”, which is necessary for repair and recovery. “Icing an injured body part does not stop inflammation; it delays inflammation, which can also impede recovery… Perhaps the most compelling argument to stop using RICE comes from the doctor that coined the term. On Mirkin’s website, he states that anything that reduces the body’s immune response (inflammation) delays muscle healing.”

From Mirkin’s website, “When germs get into your body, your immunity sends cells and proteins into the infected area to kill the germs. When muscles and other tissues are damaged, your immunity sends the same inflammatory cells to the damaged tissue to promote healing. The response to both infection and tissue damage is the same. Certain cells called macrophages rush to the damaged tissue to release IGF-1 which helps heal muscles. Healing is delayed by cortisone-type drugs, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, applying cold packs or ice, and anything else that blocks the immune response to injury. Now the treatments for an acute injury include Rest (stop exercising), Compression and Elevation (to reduce swelling), but no ice.”

Enter your email address to subscribe to blog emails