As an Olympic skier, Lindsey Vonn has had her fair share of injuries. Just three days ago, in fact, the 33-year-old was forced to pull out of a race in St. Moritz after she injured her back. If her Instagram stories are any indicator, Vonn also appeared to have beat her legs up quite a bit, but she’s got a secret weapon to help herself heal… cheese?
That’s right! As the athlete showed off via her posts, she’s taken to smearing cheese (no word on what varietal) all over her knee, writing, “Some cheese therapy. My favorite.”
Health magazine investigated the treatment, speaking to several experts about the benefits cheese might have when used on an injury, with John Lucey, PhD, and the director of the Center for Dairy research explaining, “I believe what they are trying to do is create a poultice (a soft, moist, heated and medicated mass) which has been practiced in traditional medicine…. [Poultices] have been used to help drain abscesses, reduce swelling, etc. The poultice is packed around the infected areas and then wrapped in bandages.”
So should you slather cheese on yourself the next time you have a boo-boo? Well, it all depends on your outlook. Though Vonn’s team seems to be going with a formula of “Cheese on the bottom, @hyperice on top,” with the skier adding she’s “getting better,” others remain skeptical.
Lucey notes that ingredients in cheese that may have some anti-inflammatory benefits, but he, along with two other experts, including Carla Fisher, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, and Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University in Alabama, all concur that these anti-inflammatory properties only work when cheese is ingested.
There’s “nothing magical about applying it superficially,” Olson quipped, with Fisher saying, “As far as placing things externally to help affect inflammation around the soft tissue… I haven’t heard of cheese or any sort of dairy product [that does that].” Instead, Fisher recommends the tried and true RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But hey, to each their own!
What do you think of Lindsey’s cheese therapy treatments? Share with us over @BritandCo.
(Photos via @lindseyvonn, Alain Grosclaude, Clive Mason/Getty)