Ice Man: Melting the Myth of Ice Therapy

Photographer: Sweat RX

A statement like that is enough to get any athlete’s attention—and for good reason! Scientific research and clinical studies are now suggesting that the long accepted medical “fact” that ice is the go-to solution for pulled muscles, aches, pains, and strains—well, it might not be just an old wive’s tale, ineffective and harmless, it could even be detrimental to healing. In fact, the primary reason this common injury response is so widely accepted is this firm belief that, “It can’t hurt.” Most people can’t tell whether icing actually helps to reduce swelling or accelerates the healing process … but they seem bent on believing that even if it’s not helping, it can’t be causing more harm, right?


If your lifestyle or personal interests demand that you be in peak physical condition, these studies are not just ‘good to know’; they’re absolutely imperative. That’s just one reason why Gary Reinl set out to debunk the myth of ice protocol for healing in his ground-breaking book, “ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option.”

ICED! is the must-read book of the year for athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors, therapists, and even people with soccer-playing or knee-bumping kids. Far from a dull physiological text, it reads like an epic journey about the biggest and most flagrant medical misconception of modern times. Any individual with the most basic training in sports, bodybuilding, personal training, or anything relevant to body mechanics at all has emphasized since time immemorial that ice is the antidote to all aches and pains. We’ve heard it before: RICE. That’s rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

It’s a catchy acronym, indeed. Catchy enough to deserve widespread accepted use without scientific validity or inquiry? Author Gary Reinl thinks so. And he’s not alone. In Reinl’s own words, “Even the world-renowned doctor who formalized the beginning of the ‘ice-age’ has joined the meltdown.” With the gamut of evidence Reinl provides from the most widely respected journals and experts in the field, it’s hard to argue with him.

Get the full article in SweatRX Magazine available in print or on iTunes

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