I am pretty cautious, because I know the limitations of my body and I want to enjoy training because it does me more than just the movement.
I made a mistake with RICE when I applied ice for a whole week, and the pain increased, so I started heat and that did me better.
Practicing Aikido has helped me a lot to learn about how to manage my health and how to find workarounds for common pain killers and pharmaceuticals.
It sounds like you are taking good care already. When soft tissue is damaged, there is a 6 to 8 wk healing time based on things going on at the cellular level; my understanding is that it is easy to mess up and redamage (and make acute injuries into chronic ones) but not much way to speed the healing - things like RICE, etc are good for healing but simply create an optimal healing environment during the above time period. In terms of ice vs heat: the usual rule of thumb is ice to an acute injury during the first three days PLUS whenever swelling recurs; heat to spasmed muscles and to chronic injuries. For things like arthritis and the intermediate healing period, mostly the advice now seems to be: whichever feels better to you.