Should you be icing before and after running?
With marathon training season at its peak, it’s important to be proactive in injury prevention. Whether you are training for a marathon or are just the occasional runner, it is still important to know the benefits of icing—both before and after you run.
Your bones and muscles need to warm up and cool down properly for you to perform, but most importantly, to maintain healthy bones, joints and muscles. Icing can be a crucial component of that.
“Ice isn’t just good for injuries – it also helps with inflammation and prevents shin splints and muscle strains. A few minutes of icing can help runners prevent these pains and perform to the best of their ability,” says Dr. Jason Howell, a family medicine physician with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.
Even with preparation, injuries can still happen. A strained or pulled muscle is a fairly common injury among athletes, especially runners. Muscle strains produce significant pain and are often associated with swelling and bruising. Unfortunately, many athletes do not take enough time off to allow their injury to heal properly, which can result in further injury.
If you do strain a muscle, it’s important to use the PRICE Principle in treating the injury:
Dr. Howell warns injuries that cause significant pain, worsen with successive training sessions or make it difficult to bear weight should be evaluated by a doctor.
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