About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

13 comments on “To Ice or Not To Ice

  • Icing makes a tremendous difference speeding recovery time. As an athlete who went through quite a few injuries I can tell a definite difference between icing and not icing. I am not sure how you smart scientists come out with your results but there must be some serious flaw in your research.

    • Thanks David … I just report what I read about. Ice certainly can make an injury feel better, but the research is pretty clear with many injuries. Icing can make re-injury more common and does little to affect the natural history of injuries and recovery.

  • I had rotator cuff surgery 8-9 yrs ago. The past 6 months I have experienced pain from a previously well fixed shoulder(1-10 scale about a 4). Last night I was relaxing and my shoulder popped about 4-5 times with some pain involved. I woke up today and it pops constantly every time I move my shoulder with some discomfort as well. You mention shoulder popping in/out is this dangerous, especially if it hurts when it pops?

    • Time to see a shoulder doc again… at least for a good exam and an Xray to see what’s going on.

  • Hello! I got hit on the outside left side of my left knee in a football game. It made the right side of my left knee pop out. Laying in bed that night I had a perfect line of red hot pain on the right side of the knee where it popped. I did not ice at all. I let it swell and after a few weeks of slow recover I was back to normal. Do you think I tore anything and if so could it have healed itself?

    • Sure… could have been an MCL strain… can’t really say without having examined you.

      Good luck to you.

  • Hey I jus pulled my hamstring playing flag football. I didn’t plan on playing so I got on the field with Minimal warming up and also keep in mind I jus had a heavy leg workout the day prior. So of course being the smart person I am while I was show boating into the end zone I pulled my hamstring bicycling the the last 5 yards in I felt a pop an knew I pulled it. Should I not ice it? I just took a warm epsom bath should I use heat instead to increase blood flow?

  • Hello – my 21yo daughter was playing field hockey today in Australia & has rolled her ankle (I haven’t got any more specific information yet). She is a representative player & is wondering what the best treatment is for acute ankle injuries & also what to do as the days/weeks progress. If you have some advice for her, that would be great. Many thanks, Elizabeth

    • Avoid NSAIDs, avoid ice, elevate, start range of motion as soon as you can. Have someone assess the stability of the ankle. Physio is very important in ankle sprains to minimize the risk of chronic pain and instability.

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