March 8, 2019

Weekend reads: For a sprained ankle, RICE might not be so nice

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Hold the ice. Doctors have long told people to ice sprained ankles to reduce inflammation—but that approach could actually slow recovery, Andrew Han writes for the Washington Post. There is little evidence to support the idea that icing a sprain reduces inflammation. A 2008 meta-analysis found "insufficient evidence" that the practice works, while a 2012 paper found the practice "is based largely on anecdotal evidence" and that "evidence from [randomized controlled trials] to support the use of ice in the treatment of acute ankle sprains is limited." In fact, Gabe Mirkin, the doctor who coined the term RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for sprain treatment doesn't even recommend icing anymore. "It's perfectly fine to ice if you want, but realize it's delaying healing," he said.

    Postnatal healing can depend on when and where a mom delivers. According to a new study in Risk Analysis, a mother's health after birth could depend on the specific hospital where she gives birth and the time of day of the delivery. For the study, researchers recorded maternal complications in over two million births and found that, compared with deliveries during the day on weekdays, deliveries during night shifts had a 21% higher risk of complications, while deliveries on the weekend had a 9% higher risk. Similarly, deliveries that occurred on holidays had a 29% higher risk of complications. There was also a 28% increased risk of complications at teaching hospitals.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Why people love to hate decaf coffee (vocally). Coffee drinkers hate decaf coffee, and they want everyone to know it.  But why are people so vocal in this sentiment? According to Rebecca Jennings, millennial social media culture might be to blame. Caffeinated coffee is part of so-called "performative hustling" that fuels "millennial burnout" culture. Since many millennials feel pressured to appear successful and hardworking on social media, they turn to Facebook, Instagram, and other forums to showcase their accomplishments, which often includes images of them working hard with a cup of coffee in hand. In other words, people like to drink caffeinated coffee—or to be seen drinking it— because it makes them seem "very, very busy," according to Jennings. On the other hand, decaf has "none of the implications that the drinker is here to hustle," Jennings writes.

    Animals can experience an array of emotions, too. In his new book "Mama's Last Hug," primate behavior researcher Frans De Waal writes that animals are capable of an array of emotions, just like humans. To make his point, De Waal tells the story of Mama, the59-year-old matriarch of a chimpanzee colony at a zoo in the Netherlands. When Mama was near death, her friend, biology professor Jan van Hooff, visited her to say goodbye. During the visit, Mama stroked van Hooff's hair and pulled him close—as if she knew it was their last time meeting. De Waal explains that Mama's sentiment shows how feelings that humans experience have "a long evolutionary heritage" in the animal kingdom—which in turn demonstrates that the claim that any human emotion is "fundamentally new" is false.

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