#3 in my journey…Icing Arms

At some point in  your young player’s development, you will ask yourself the same question I did about a year and a half ago.  I wrote a post called Should Young Pitchers Ice Their Arms.   I contacted Dr. Alexander Espinoza, Board Certified in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine, with Medicine-In-Motion and posed the question, should young pitchers ice their arms?

Dr. Espinoza stated “Icing in a young thrower has not been shown to prevent injuries.  We tend to use heat for muscles and ice for joints/ligaments/tendons.  That is why a pitcher puts on a jacket when he gets on base when it is cold to keep his muscles nice and loose.  On the other hand, he will ice his shoulder or elbow after the game to reduce swelling or treat an injury.  Most of what we see on T.V. when players ice is because they are on a specific treatment protocol for a specific injury, and not necessarily to prevent an injury.  I would suggest icing a young thrower’s elbow and shoulder if treating a specific injury rather than for prevention.  The focus for injury prevention in a young thrower should be limited pitch counts, stretching and strengthening the throwing joints and proper warm ups and cool downs.”

a_espinoza_smallDr. Alexander Espinoza attended medical school at UCLA. Finishing Family Medicine Residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles in 2003 and a Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCSD in 2006, he is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine.  His interests are Family Medicine with a strong focus on disease prevention and Sports Medicine injuries and keeping a healthy life style.
Family & Sports Medicine

Lori_StephensYesterday, I spoke with Lori Stephens from Stephens Acupuncture & Wellness about this subject.  Lori is licensed by the California State Board of Acupuncture as an acupuncturist and also a certified massage therapist.   One of Lori’s specialties is treating sports-related injuries in young people.  Lori directed me to this article by Dr. Gabe Markin.  (Look for my entire conversation with Lori Stephens regarding youth treatments in a future post).  








Why Ice Delays Recovery

by Gabe Mirkin, MD

Dr. Gabe Markin

Dr. Markin writes “When I wrote my best-selling Sportsmedicine Book in 1978, I coined the term RICE (Rest, Ice,Compression, Elevation) for the treatment of athletic injuries (Little Brown and Co., page 94). Ice has been a standard treatment for injuries and sore muscles because it helps to relieve pain caused by injured tissue.  Coaches have used my “RICE” guideline for decades, but now it appears that both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping.”

In the Article, Dr. Mirkin’s discusses:

Healing Requires Inflammation

Ice Keeps Healing Cells from Entering Injured Tissue
Anything That Reduces Inflammation Also Delays Healing
Ice Also Reduces Strength, Speed, Endurance and Coordination

Dr. Mirkin Recommendations:

If you are injured, stop exercising immediately. If the pain is severe, if you are unable to move or if you are confused or lose even momentary consciousness, you should be checked to see if you require emergency medical attention. Open wounds should be cleaned and checked. If possible, elevate the injured part to use gravity to help minimize swelling. A person experienced in treating sports injuries should determine that no bones are broken and that movement will not increase damage. If the injury is limited to muscles or other soft tissue, a doctor, trainer or coach may apply a compression bandage. Since applying ice to an injury has been shown to reduce pain, it is acceptable to cool an injured part for short periods soon after the injury occurs. You could apply the ice for up to 10 minutes, remove it for 20 minutes, and repeat the 10 minute application once or twice. There is no reason to apply ice more than six hours after you have injured yourself.

If the injury is severe, follow your doctor’s advice on rehabilitation. With minor injuries, you can usually begin rehabilitation the next day. You can move and use the injured part as long as the movement does not increase the pain and discomfort. Get back to your sport as soon as you can do so without pain.

Read full article here

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., and his wife, nutritionist Diana Mirkin bring you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. . He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.

Dr. Mirkin did his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and over the years he has served as a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.



  • <cite class="fn">dad</cite>

    Nice articles bet it took a while to put them all together
    looks like thigs have changed a bit since you were throwing!

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