Clinicians are supposed to be evidence-based, but we’re not. We are sheep that follow the herd. Or, as a friend of mine from the University of Illinois often says “follow the Sacred Cows”. I am just as guilty. We go through the same mundane and antiquated treatment protocols that we always have. We don’t want to change our ways because that is what we are comfortable doing and that is what our patient expects. It takes a global paradigm shift in order for us change how we practice. Can a paradigm shift finally be underway in how we treat inflammation?
As followers, I knew our mindset toward ice and anti-inflammatory medication would only change if mainstream media started sharing the data. Now, this is just one story, but it is in the New York Times. Perhaps more articles like this will reach the public. Better yet, perhaps stories like this can appear on TV, like Dr. Oz or GMA. For now, I am just happy it’s finally being shared with the public and I look forward to more. A change will be coming folks. Below is a link to the NY Times article, with the best line saying: “There’s a reason for the inflammation” in the body after exercise, she says. “It’s part of the regenerative process and not a bad thing.”
I recall sitting in the Long Beach State Athletic Training room in 2006 and 2007 challenging student athletic trainers and athletes about the overuse and misuse of ice and anti-inflammatory medication. All I asked was, why? They could never give me a rationale answer. These were very smart students, but they did as taught and regurgitated content learned from class.
Over the years, I continued to look at the research and realized that inflammation is a good thing and we shouldn’t be so hasty to stop it. I learned that the RICE treatment principle and NSAIDs are wrong. Prostaglandins and other inflammatory mediators are necessary to initiate the tissue healing. Inflammation triggers gene transcription, gene up-regulation, protein synthesis, and creates an environment for stem and progenitor cells to become new tissue. Why would we want to stop or impede this process?
No matter what I did or said, and no matter what evidence I shared, the inflammation stigma would not stop. Even the physician who coined the acronym RICE retracted his statement. Through his research, Dr. Mirkin found that ice was bad for healing. Still, nobody listened. I realized that a dogmatic polarization existed and ice and anti-inflammatories medication would continue to be revered as a cure-all no matter what. Hopefully, this New York Times articles opens more eyes.
Bring On the Exercise, Hold the Painkillers https://nyti.ms/2tL7pcS