Before you slap the bag of ice on that sprained ankle you may want to take a look at this new study. The conventional wisdom of freezing the effected muscle sprains and strain to prevent pain and swelling may work, but according to researchers it discourages healing.
This just released study found ice could slow down the healing as it prevents the release of a key repair hormone. This study may also lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries that lead to inflammation.
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It makes sense that swelling brings blood and with other nutrients to the site of injury. This inflammation is essential for repair. Ice limits the bodies ability to move the blood to the injured zone thus inhibiting repair. You can read the entire study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.
Gerald Weissmann, editor of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, said: "For wounds to heal we need controlled inflammation, not too much, and not too little. "It's been known for a long time that excess anti-inflammatory medication, such as cortisone, slows wound healing. "This study goes a long way to telling us why – insulin-like growth factor and other materials released by inflammatory cells helps wound to heal."