Hello, blog world! Guess what I did tonight? If you randomly guessed almost lose a toe or many toes by taking an ice bath, you’d be right. Okay, so I didn’t look up this whole ice bath thing before I did it. All I know is now I have to go for an MRI because my leg, hip, and lower back muscles won’t stop freaking out after being rested for well over five weeks.
If you’ve been reading a while, you know that my hip has some genetic hyper flexibility in it which pre-disposed me to injuring it. I’ve spent most of my energy trying to make sure I didn’t complain too much about my injury status on the blog and stay positive when I did comment about it. (Looking back over the last five weeks I may not have done such a great job with that one.)
In the last couple of weeks, I would get a little better then re-flare up twice as bad. Recently, my calf, IT band, and glutes have been super tender, most likely due to them trying to compensate for the hip injury. Rather than have tons of ice packs all over my body I decided to just get it over with and take an ice bath.
About 45 minutes later my toes were still numb, and I had to run them under some warm water. It took another 15 minutes of soaking my legs up to my calves in warm water to regain feeling. So this doesn’t happen again, I did some research for tomorrow. I’d thought I’d share some of the tips I found from around the web.
6 Simple Tips For Using An Ice Bath for Injury Recovery
Injury recovery isn’t that much different from post-workout recovery. However, it takes a lot longer because the damage is more severe. I read a lot about ice baths, and although they are most popular among endurance athletes, some athletes involved in strength sports find benefits from regularly including them. I never thought I’d need to take an ice bath, but a prolonged injury will make you do just about anything to get back in the game. Now, 2 hours post my ice bath and an almost hypothermic episode I can say I’m pain-free for the first time in weeks. For me that’s all the proof I need to bare a little discomfort for both injury healing and injury prevention…. so here are a couple of quick tips I picked up after doing some reading…
1. Fill the bath up to above your thighs, then dump in ice. It’s easier to get into cold water than dump ice in, then to get into ice water.
2. Start with one bag of ice and slowly build up your tolerance level. I only did a half a bag of ice tonight, and I saw benefit from just that.
3. Spend no more than 8-15 minutes in the ice bath. Most articles say start with your tolerance level and work your way up to 15 minutes.
4. Wear a sweatshirt to keep your top half warm and sip warm tea to maintain your internal temperature up.
5. Try not to jump into a warm shower to warm up, instead let your body temperature rise slowly.
6. Re-warm yourself in a warm shower if you can’t seem to warm up on your own.
Have you ever taken an ice bath? Was it for general recovery or an injury?
*Note this post was amended with photos that didn’t upload the first time.