The Frozen Water Bottle Myth

The Frozen Water Bottle Myth…

I don’t get it. Why would we want to ice down the healthy parts of our foot?

This recommendation I frequently hear that we should freeze a water bottle and then roll our foot over it to reduce inflammation and I guess break up scar tissue makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

I remember back to when I had my plantar injuries and I was an icing monster. Big bags of ice several times a day.

I’d sit there thinking I was doing something good for my injury. Wrong…

My foot just got tighter and tighter and the pain got worse. Very frustrating.

We all know that applying ice, if done properly, can help reduce inflammation, so why would we ice down those areas that don’t have inflammation?

Rolling our foot over a frozen water bottle?

I mean, come on, there’s only about 5% of our foot that’s actually injured. (Yeah I know, it feels like our entire body is being tortured when we suffer a plantar injury)…

I do understand the value of using a massage roller to help stretch out the healthy small arch muscles, but if the arch muscles aren’t inflamed, then it makes no sense to me to ice them down.

In fact, the way I see it, if you ice down your healthy arch muscles, you temporarily contract them (shorten them) which makes them pull tighter on the inflamed area of your fascia where it connects to your heel bone.

Anything we do that forces that fascia to pull tighter on the inflammation such as icing with a frozen water bottle or laying our foot down on top of a large bag of ice temporarily defeats the purpose of stretching.

The key for me is to stretch out those small arch muscles to help reduce the tension on the fascia connection to our heel bone, not temporarily shortening those muscles by icing.

So here’s my thinking, don’t ice what’s healthy, stretch out the healthy stuff.


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Hi Brent,

Thanks for the follow up. Have been fairly good in keeping to the plan. Just a matter of getting into a routine, as you stated, particularly for the stretches during the day.

Good progress. Certainly less discomfort and much better mobility, particularly after the warm up / stretching routine(s).

Thanks for the program, will continue to provide updates.

Regards, Lester (Australia)


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