Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Foot Is Improving with Icing

Hooray - my foot finally appears to be improving, and it's suspiciously happening at the same time as I got more serious about icing it (along with the anti-inflamatories). Doctors and other medical staff often talk about icing an injury or RICE (Rest, Ice, Compession, Elevation) and it's easy to say yeah, yeah, but after more than 2 weeks of this I decided to get more dedicated to it.

Way back in the 80's, my girlfriend at the time was very physcially active and there was an almost macho approach to ice then. It was supposed to be freezing cold, it was supposed to hurt. and it was messy as ice packs weren't very commonly available then. I, of course, hated it.

Now "they" say (guess I should find a reference huh? Just google for: rice therapy (seriously :)) that there is such a thing as too cold. Your skin is not supposed to turn white (hello, that's frostbite), and you should cover your skin with a towel or something (in my foot's case a sock does quite nicely), and in the 90's all these great gel-based ice packs that you can make cold or hot became commonly available.

I really like one gel ice pack that I got for my wrist (pictured) it has a fabric covering and is very comfortable. the label says Elasto-Gel. I've found that I can just velcro it around my socked foot (not pictured you don't need to see my foot :) and elevate it while leaving it on for 15 minutes or so. I've been doing this twice a day and this morning my foot was noticeably better. I should tell Mark my corgi owning physical therapist friend about it, he'll be thrilled.

I should also look up a reference on how ice works. It's not rocket science. The cold causes the blood vessels to contract which reduces the amount of inflammation (over simplification). Inflammation is usually bad because our body is paranoid and treats every injury as if it were an infection and sends in the white blood cell marines, and like real life military get in the way of real progress (healing in this case) if they're not needed.

Now that icing is easy, and not painful or messy there's really no excuse for not doing it.

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