Most of the time I am not a fan of any of these methods
RICE- Rest, Ice, Compress, and elevate. It’s been a first aid mantra for years and I am regularly asked whether to ice or heat an injury.
Most of the time I am not a fan of any of these methods. When we ice or heat an injury we are interfering with the inflammatory process. This process, although it may feel like a hinderance is attempting to heal the damaged tissue. The swelling and discomfort are all signs that the body is working hard to repair the injury.
During the Olympics you may see athletes icing themselves in between races. This is beneficial as during exercise micro tears of muscle fibres occur. The inflammatory process then causes the muscle to temporarily become weaker whilst it heals these tears. This would therefore make them less efficient for their next race. They pay the price to maintain their speed in the short term but ultimately they will have to allow the inflammatory process to occur to heal.
So unless you absolutely have to be pain free stay away from ice in the majority of cases. Allow the healing process to do its job.