Speed up your relief and recovery time: why you should ice after chiropractic adjustments.
For those coming in with an acute injury, whether it be acute torticollis (waking up with your neck stuck to one side), a pinched nerve, pulled back (acute sprain or strain) applying ice to the area will help. Applying ice reduces inflammation which results in less pain and faster recovery times.
Take a look at this sprained ankle
Notice the swollen joint and muscular spasms occurring to splint the area to a very limited range of motion. This is your bodies natural way to prevent further stress and re-injury.Just like in your ankle this also can happen in your back or neck, it’s just that you can’t see it!
Research tells us that ice will help in:
- Increasing your pain threshold, allowing you to naturally manage your pain without medication and drugs.
- Relaxation of the muscles, giving you relief of muscular-spasm-type pain and allowing faster mobility and hence recovery.
- Decrease the amount of swelling in the area (note: your body will excessively swell the area) which will quicken your overall recovery and mobility.
However, let’s look at the fine print of this research which is simple common sense.
Prolonged icing (>30 minutes) under VERY LOW temperature may cause frostbite and nerve damage. 10-15 degrees is ideal so wrap ice or an ice pack in a towel (or wet towel). Repeated 10 minute intervals are much better than a single long session. Immediately doing high intensity exercise will increase the susceptibility to injury. So make sure you wait 30 minutes and do a proper warm up before jumping straight back into exercise.
If in doubt follow the PRICE Principle – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, to learn more go to https://www.sports-health.com/treatment/price-protocol-principles
Note: Please do not use ice if you have Raynaud’s disease, a cold hypersensitivity, or on areas with hives, rashes, numbness or nerve damaged areas or an open wound.
So after you see your Chiropractor for treatment of an acute injury, whether it be lower back pain or wry neck applying ice to the area can really help reduce your recovery time and limit the amount of pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication you take.