Choosing the right ice pack can mean the difference between quick healing and prolonged pain and discomfort. In order to choose the best ice pack, individuals must start by determining what size of ice pack is ideal. Customers should also consider whether the pack will be for single use or repeated use. Before making a final purchase, users should also consider the cost of the product. In some cases, purchasing a large quantity of ice packs or buying repeatedly from the same supplier may cause the overall price to drop.
To choose the best ice pack
It is important to determine which size is the best. Ideally, an ice pack intended for use on a small part of the body, such as a hand, wrist, or foot, only needs to be small. In contrast, an ice pack intended for use on the back, shoulders, or legs should be much larger. When in doubt, a larger ice pack is almost always better than a small one, as it will cover the entire injured area, whereas a small ice pack might not.
Customers should also determine if the ice pack can be used repeatedly or if it is intended for single use. Ice packs for one person or a small, familiar group can be used multiple times. In contrast, frozen compresses intended for a large group of people, such as sports teams, should be single-use in order to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Storage facilities can also decide whether single use or repeat ice gel packs are best. Institutions that offer little storage space for products may require repeated use packs, while those with more storage space can accommodate a number of single use packs.
The buyer of an ice pack should also consider the cost of the product before choosing a specific item. The price of gel ice packs can vary widely depending on their size, durability, disposable nature, or repeated use. Customers who purchase ice jelly packs for a school district or other large organization may be able to purchase large quantities at a significantly reduced rate. Regular customers who purchase ice packs in large quantities may also be able to purchase them at an additional discount. When considering a large purchase, customers should make sure that the product will meet their needs and that it is not simply purchased because of its low cost.
When not to use ice pack
- Immediately after physical activities
- If the area where you apply the ice is numb
- When pain or inflammation involves a nerve (such as the ulnar nerve or “funny bone”)
- If the athlete has sympathetic dysfunction (an abnormality of the nerves that control blood flow and sweat gland activities)
- If the athlete has vascular disease (such as poor circulation due to blood loss, blood vessel injury, compartment syndrome, vacuities, blood clots, and Raynaud’s disease)
- If it involves the skin (as with an open wound; a wound that has not healed; stretched, blistered, burned, or thin skin)
- If the athlete has hypersensitivity to cold, including cold-induced urticarial (cold urticarial)
How long to use the ice pack
- Two to 3 times a day (minimum); up to once an hour.
- Duration varies with technique; usually 20 to 30 minutes per session. (See “ice application options”).
- Ice can continue to be helpful in treatment as long as there is pain, inflammation, swelling, or spasms. There is no need to switch to heat after 48 hours or toggle between ice and heat.
Options for applying ice pack
1. Ice packs are best for placing ice on larger areas of pain, swelling, or spasms (such as a swollen knee, bruised thighs, muscle tension, tendonitis in the shoulders, or spasms in the neck or back).