The very common advice for immediate treatment of an injury is R.I.C.E. — rest, ice, compression and elevation — to reduce swelling. But why should we try to reduce the natural swelling response? When I pose the question on Google, many results merely repeat the details on how, simply assuming that the swelling is a disease rather than a symptom:
Some appear to address the question why, but with circular logic — because ... excessive swelling. Some with "sideways" logic — to stop the pain, but ignoring the fact that there might not be any pain or that the pain may actually be less than the discomfort resulting from applying the ice. Or that chronic swelling can be problematic, but that is a completely different time scale than the recommended application of RICE (months versus hours):
A couple mention the study by Lan Zhou and a team at the Neuroinflammation Research Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio that "found that some inflammation is needed for tissue healing", suggesting that maybe everyone else has got it wrong for all those years.
Do you know of any significant scientific studies that even suggest that suppressing the swelling response to injury speeds or otherwise improves the body's healing process (assuming pain is not an issue)? I'm skeptical.