To Bike or To Ice…That is the Question

“My leg really, hurts. Should I ice? Can I take an ice bath?” These phrases are heard everyday in North Star’s athletic training room, as well as AT rooms all over the world.

For decades, whenever an athlete was injured they were always told to ice, ice, and ice. But new research shows that ice may not be the best possible solution to resolve these injuries.

Scientists in Australia have found that riding a bike for 5-10 minutes is better than dunking your body into a polar ice bath for 10-20 minutes.

According to, biking is a better source of treatment after a long hard day then ice bathing. The reason is that you could damage surrounding muscle tissues by icing. Experts also say that icing is temporary solution, where biking is a long term solution to improve your injury pains. However, the effects of improvement for biking take a lot longer than improvement effects for ice bathing.

Justin Eggleston, North Star’s head athletic trainer said, “I believe in ice bathing specific injured areas like ankles, knees, etc. It’s when someone wants to ice bath their whole body just because they are sore is where we run into problems. Instead, I would like those athletes, such as cross country runners, to bike for 10 minutes because it has a better effect on releasing that lactic acid they build up over time.”

What do you think? Bike or ice? Share your thoughts in the comments below.