How to treat running injuries with ice and heat
It used to be, if you picked up a niggle, the advice on how to treat running injuries would involve using a bag of frozen peas on the injury and you’d be better in no time.
Well, the thinking on how to treat running injuries has moved on a bit since then. Icing knees after running is still beneficial, but the advice on how to treat knee pain from running has evolved. Today advice says using both heat and ice is a great way of speeding up your recovery. Think of it as flushing and you’ll understand the concept.
The current thinking is that rehabilitation isn’t quite as simple as RICE, Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation. The importance of an active recovery is being increasingly realised. Ice is very useful for that short-term effect, apply it for around only five minutes at a time as a means of counteracting pain.
Instead, give PEACE a chance.
- Protect: Unload or restrict movement of the affected area for the first three days after the injury, with the time depending on how much pain there is. You don’t want to keep doing the same thing as you’ll make it worse
- Elevate: This is a well-known treatment. The idea is to elevate the affected area, so it is higher than the heart to allow fluid to drain away from the area. But don’t just sit there, think also about compression.
- Avoid: Despite negative connotations in the world of sports injuries, inflammation actually helps repair damaged tissues. So, don’t avoid it.
- Compress: Compression is more important than elevation. A compression stocking or sock will do the same as elevation. They’re handy to wear below your jeans as recovery from races or from injury
- Educate: Ignore old wives’ tales that get shared around. Better education on the condition and load management will help avoid overtreatment. This includes unnecessary injections and surgery.
For more advice on how to treat running injuries, visit our tips and advice page. There is lots of useful information on there about how to treat knee pain from running and other injuries.