Depending on the injury, immediate firm compression appears to make an
unbelievable difference to recovery times (including appropriate padding,
"u" pads around malleoli in ankle injurys etc), so much so I strongly
recommend all athletes have an elasticated bandage close by when
participating. I know Professor Rolf (Sheffield Centre for Sports Medicine)
is a strong believer in immediate compression and I think he was part of a
campaign over in sweden to educate people about the benefits, I was also
under the impression this was research based? Not sure of the references. If
I remember correctly Professor Rolf said to apply the compression as tight
as possible for the first ten minutes then firmly after that, I think he
believed that application of ice was a much lower priority.
Re cryotherapy, following on from Knights work someone published some
research (McMaster?) claiming the majority of cryotherapy applications
(using a barrier between the skin) did not cool deeper tissues to the extent
of achieving a therapeutic effect. Interesting also that Knight claims that
it is not really possible to cause ice burns using normal ice if applied
directly to the skin, compare with the many articles advising against using
direct ice application.
Sorry for lack of references, I dont have access to my files at present.
Steve Aspinall BSc (Hons) GSR
School of Health Care Professions
University of Salford
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