If you’ve ever needed to recover from an athletic injury, you’ve probably used ice to reduce soreness and swelling. For decades, doctors and athletic trainers have recommended RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation — to reduce the pain and inflammation of sprained ankles. Inflammation has been viewed as the enemy of recovery.
But what if that’s not quite right? What if inflammation is an indication of recovery, and icing and other cold-based “cryotherapy” only delays it?