An ice/elevate or heat/lower question…
As part of my degree I studied exercise and health and one of the topics that I always took for granted and never bothered to question was the fact that ice is always the first thing you apply to an injury be it a twisted ankle, an elbow in the cheek, whatever… Now, I understand that the reason for this is to reduce swelling by diverting the blood away from the injured site. You are told to do this as soon as the injury occured and for some time after (RICE). But surely this is counter productive, going against the body’s natural instinct to deliver blood to the site to repair the broken tissues and heal the injury. So if anything, shouldnt the advice be forget about the ice, play on if you can, if you cant go home and have a warm bath and Rest, Heat, Compress and Lower.
Also if the ice/elevate thing does work then why after you have suffered an injury should you not drink alcohol? With the theory being that alcohol constricts the capillaries, directing blood away from the skin and away from the site of the injury preventing the natural healing process to occur- surely the same thing that ice and elevation does. So alcohol MUST be a good thing for the injury- it mimicks ice.
Im kind of playing devils advocate here, because I know the ice/elevate thing is proven but Im confused. Im looking for a clear cut explanation?