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Level 5 Stanton Centre

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Ice Baths

Chris Ball - Thursday, September 15, 2016
The use of ice for injury and training recovery. 
In the last decade there has emerged quite a lot of controversy regarding the use of ice for both injury management and recovery from training. Ice (cryotherapy) is a low cost treatment which is extremely popular to the point of being standard practice in medical and sport conditioning fields. It is used for:- 
 
• injury first aid
• short and medium term rehabilitation from acute and chronic injury
• enhancing recovery after exercise. 
 
Despite the widespread advocacy and use of cryotherapy little is known regarding optimal prescription and how effective the treatment is at all. In more recent times the status quo is being challenged. Scientific articles as well as popular media have begun to question and even discourage the use of these methods. 
 
One of the key concerns regarding the use of cryotherapy is the belief that it reduces both circulation to, and inflammation within, the tissue. While historically inflammation has been considered a painful and unwarranted response to injury, the more contemporary view recognises this to be a precursor for the healing process. It is therefore considered as counter intuitive to then attempt to reduce the inflammation driven healing response to injury or adaptation to a training stimulus. The actual science though is more complicated than that. 

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