Playing in numerous sports throughout my life it seemed the response to injury was pretty much the same, put some ice on it, and RICE (Rest, ICE, Compression, Elevation). However, it felt like there was no real rhyme or reason to this decision, that's just what coaches said to do! For the past three years, I've had the opportunity to provide sideline coverage as a sports physical therapist ranging from youth up to professional sports. Part of this job description is carrying an ice chest from the parking lot to the fields/stadium that typically seem to be uphill and miles away. During this walk, including multiple breaks (the ice chest gets heavy!), I've asked the following: why do we rest, ice, compress, and elevate after injury? Where did this originate? Is this still best practice? In this article, you'll learn the truth about icing injuries and why we need to step away from RICE and move towards PEACE & LOVE.
When an individual sustains an injury, one of the first questions asked is, “How long will it take until I am back to normal?” When an unexpected event such as an injury disrupts our quality of life, naturally we want to return to our full functional capacity as soon as possible. The difficult part of injuries is that there are certain components of them we are unable to control, such as our age, the type of tissue that was injured, the blood supply to a specific tissue, and the extent of damage that was done. However, what we can control is enhancing our understanding of tissue healing, and how to optimize healing times by avoiding factors that could slow the normal healing process. In this article, we will discuss what body tissue is, the normal phases of tissue healing, why various tissues heal differently, and what you need to know about tissue healing after an injury!