Putting Ice on Injuries Could Slow Healing

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Slapping a
packet of frozen peas on a black eye or a sprained ankle may prevent
it getting better, new research suggests.

For years,
people have been told to freeze torn, bruised or sprained muscles
to reduce the swelling.

But now for
the first time, researchers have found that it could slow down the
healing as it prevents the release of a key repair hormone.

This discovery
turns the conventional wisdom that swelling must be controlled in
order to encourage healing and prevent pain.

It could also
lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries that lead to inflammation.

The study,
published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental
Biology journal, suggests muscle inflammation after acute injury
is essential to repair.

Professor Lan
Zhou and colleagues at the Neuroinflammation Research Centre at
the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio discovered inflamed cells produce a
high level of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)
which significantly increases the rate of muscle regeneration.

During the
study, scientists studied two groups of mice. The first group was
genetically altered so they could not form an inflammatory response
to injury.

The second
group was normal.

the rest of the article

28, 2010

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