Myth Buster: Putting Ice On Injuries Slows Down Healing
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28 October 2010
Contrary to conventional wisdom, putting ice on injuries could slow down healing as it prevents the release of a key repair hormone, says a new study.
For years, people have been told to freeze bruised or sprained muscles to reduce the swelling. Now, an international team claims slapping a packet of frozen peas on a black eye or a sprained ankle may prevent it getting better.
The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, suggests that muscle inflammation after acute injury is essential to repair. It can also lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries that lead to inflammation.
In the study, Lan Zhou and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio discovered inflamed cells produce a high level of a hormone called insulin–like growth factor–1 (IGF–1) which significantly increases the rate of muscle regeneration.