Can Ice Baths Ease My Sore Muscles?

The Short Answer from a sports medicine specialist

Can Ice Baths Ease My Sore Muscles?

Q.: Can ice baths ease my sore muscles?

A.: Yes, there is scientific proof that ice baths, also called cold therapy, can decrease inflammation. For the serious athlete, ice baths can ease sore muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation.

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You can create an ice bath by filling a bathtub halfway with cold water and then adding three large bags of commercial ice. Or use smaller container to focus on a  smaller part of the body, such as the elbow.

You have to make sure, however, that there is no underlying problem that you’re icing through. You don’t want to be using cold therapy simply to numb pain from a more serious injury, such as a fractured bone.

It’s important, too, to check with your doctor before trying this type of treatment, as it can have adverse effects for people who have heart problems or undiagnosed heart disease.

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— Sports medicine and orthopaedic physician Dominic King, DO

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