In an interview on Thursday, Hall of Fame baseball reliever Goose Gossage stated that this generation of baseball is a joke compared to back in the day when he played the game. You can read the interview here: Goose Gossage Interview
Baseball has changed over time as Gossage said, but is the game worse or is it better? There are many more rules supposedly designed to make the game safer, but are they?
When I think of baseball I often think of icing. My first 20 years revolved around the sport of baseball. I started pitching around 10 years old and was in and out of physical therapy, chiropractic care and physicians offices from 12 till 21 years of age.
I was hurt so often my nickname in college was “ICE” because that was the treatment of choice and often still is recommended as a first line of defense after an acute injury and many times even with chronic injuries.
In 2000, after getting my degree in Biomechanics and attending graduate school in Exercise Physiology I decided to learn about Oriental Medicine, Acupressure and massage. It was during this period, 16 years ago that I was told to avoid ice as a rehab treatment (another key take away I learned was the value of massage for pain reduction and mobility).
As far as I can recall, I have only iced an injury one time since 2000 and interestingly enough I recover faster now at age 43 than I did when I was 12.
What I find most interesting is the repetition that one needs to ice after throwing a baseball or after an injury, not only by family and friends that want to help, but physicians and often times even physical therapists and chiropractors.
Last year I sprained my ankle very badly as you can see in the photo. Almost everyone I came across told me to ice because that’s just what you do… right?
I did ice for about 15 minutes right after the injury but it created so much pain I intuitively knew it wasn’t a good idea. Contrary to popular thinking I applied heat and did as much movement as I could tolerate. I was back working out in about a week.
If this subject is of interest to you, check out this article: “Paradigm Shifts: Use of Ice & NSAIDs Post Acute Soft Tissue Injuries” written by Dr. Bahram Jam, DScPT, MPhty, BScPT, CredMDT. This was previously published in the Clinical Library at aptei.com.
From my understanding there is not one study to support the use of ice with respect to enhancing tissue healing and hastening recovery but it continues to be repeated.
I am not a physician, so I can’t tell you what to do when you have pain, but know the latest science and ask your physician what they recommend for your needs. You will probably need to show them this article 🙂
When I have an injury or for my clients that want my assistance I recommend to see your physician to rule out a break or a rupture as needed. For those that are cleared, my recommendations are heat (epsom salt bath, infrared sauna, heating pad), movement in a pain free range of motion, massage, acupuncture, arnica, boswellia, ginger, fish oils, turmeric and products like collagen that can improve connective tissue strength. I also recommend eating foods that are healthy and improve digestion because the majority of the immune system is located inside the gut and poor digestion can slow down one’s healing.
Designs for Health has two products to consider for the management of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain and inflammation: Arthroben & Inflammatone – check out my online store with them.
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