Since it was coined by Dr. Gabe Mirkin in 1978, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (R.I.C.E) became widely adopted as a recovery method among athletes. However, recently Dr. Mirkin announced that the RICE method may actually delay the process of healing.
According to him, inflammation is important because it’s the first stage of healing. Applying ice may help to decrease the pain. This would be fine if you really don’t want inflammation. On the other hand, applying ice to injured tissue causes blood vessels near the injury to constrict and shut off the blood flow that brings in the healing cells of inflammation. This act actually delays the process of healing by half a day according to study.
For non-competitive athletes, using the RICE method is fine but for those competitive athletes, they should consider aiding their body’s healing processes by moving. Coming from intense workout like biking and running- strolling, brisk walking and even walking the dog can actually hasten the healing of muscle soreness. This will be okay so long as the movement does not increase the pain and discomfort. Also, only use anti-inflammatories when it’s deem necessary. In addition, it is essential to have healthy diet which includes fruits and vegetables to help you improve your body’s natural defenses.
If in case, the injury is severe, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor right away for checking and right advice.