Health Technology

Best Ice Packs for Injuries – May, 2021 Reviews & Buyers Guide

Cold therapy is an inexpensive, effective, and relief-finding way to treat injuries and muscle discomfort. Ice packs are great for injuries and inflammation because they are an affordable and simple method for getting quick relief to a sprain, strain, joint discomfort, etc.

When it comes to administering ice packs to deal with injuries, this method is effective because ice packs can lessen the inflammation caused by injury. They can also slow down the blood flow to the particular part of the body that is receiving pressure from the cold pack: aka vasoconstriction. This method of using cold to bring relief is called cryotherapy.

As cryotherapy does its thing, cells are not killed as the blood flow slows down to the affected area, rather the metabolism slows down. Muscle spasms and pain can also be effectively treated with ice packs. Application of a cold pack, or massage of a cold pack, gives a sort of numbing feeling to the area you’re compressing. It relieves pain temporarily and reduces it, overall.

Cold packs are not a replacement for serious injuries that need medical attention, but they do serve a purpose for other injuries related to sports or inflammation/muscle cramps that result from an active lifestyle.

Cold packs are simple because all you need to do is store them in the freezer or fill them with ice to make them work. Once you’ve purchased the ice pack, there’s very little more that you need to do. Some cold packs are even ready for one-time-use upon purchase.

Although throwaway ice packs are convenient, reusable ones offer you the gift that keeps on giving.

Some ice packs are purchased as wrap around packs. These can often be used for multiple parts of the body because the straps are adjustable. Other general packs include ice bags–pouches where you can store ice and then apply to the injured area. There are strips or packages that act the same way.

There are ones that are designed for the knees or shoulders. There are cold packs meant for feet, toes, hands.

The long and short of it is: you can find multipurpose ice packs and ones that are designed to treat a certain part of the body. If you are injury prone or tend to hurt a specific region of your body repeatedly, you might want to invest in one that has been made to target that area in particular.

If you are an athlete, cold packs are invaluable. If you are a parent, these are great to have around, too. No matter how much care you give your kids, accidents can happen. Even if you aren’t all that athletic or have never experienced a lot of pain, it’s a good idea to keep one of these on hand.

A few years ago, I embarked on an intense, up-mountain hike. Before that weekend hike, I had no idea that I had awful knees. The cartilage in my knees must be worn down because by day two of the hike, I had to lean on someone just to take simple steps back down the mountain.

I experienced extreme relief from a homemade ice pack compress when I got home. I don’t know what I would’ve done without it.

Where to buy ice packs for injuries needs to be answered. You can find them at your, sports store, sports shops online, or Amazon. Amazon will include ratings and reviews, which might be helpful in finding the best ice pack suited to meet your needs.

Cold packs are convenient and great solutions for injury and pain, so here are some tips:

  • Consider why you might need a cold pack. Look for one that addresses those needs.
  • Decide whether you are more likely to utilize a reusable cold pack or a throwaway one–you have options.
  • Store your cold packs somewhere safe. It can’t hurt to keep most of them in the freezer–cold and ready for immediate use.

Best Ice Packs for Injuries

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TheraPAQ Reusable Ice Pack with Strap

This is an ice pack for shoulder injuries, as well as knee, waist, back, ankle, hip, and calves. This makes it diverse and a great option for multiple potential injury needs. Another helpful feature about this ice pack is that you can also use it as a hot pack.

TheraPAQ is pretty confident about this product of theirs, and they offer 100% money back if you are not completely satisfied with their cold pack for any reason.

This cold pack is equipped with an adjustable strap that makes it easy to keep it positioned on your waist, shoulder, back, and other areas. If you need to be mobile, or if the pack is prone to slip as you shift, you can strap it on to the area where you need it.

To use, freeze the pack for 2 plus hours and then apply it to the area where you need the relief. The gel pack inside of this cold pack is non-toxic.

One downside here is that the strap on the cold pack is limited in length, and if you are large-bodied, it might not fit the whole way around your waist.

Pros and Cons

  • Adjustable Strap
  • Can Be Hot or Cold
  • Versatile Uses
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • Gel Pack
  • Non-Toxic
  • Strap is Limited in Length

Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack

This is one of the best reusable ice packs for injuries. The Chattanooga ColPac is a gel pack and can give you relief from sprains, strains, bruises, and even swelling.

This cold pack is very easy to use. You simply lay it down on the affected area–it is pliable and forms easily around the area you need to target. This cold pack is well suited for shoulder, arm, back, knee, and elbow pain, which makes it a versatile option. If you’re looking to only buy one cold pack, this one is a jack-of-all-trades, and it might be the best one for your arsenal.

If you are looking for a cold pack for a first Aid Kit for a sports team or just for a travel kit, this one might be your best bet.

The cold pack is made without using latex. The pack is filled with gel silica which is non-toxic. This is a bonus because it means you can use it for all ages, and it is durable.

To use this cold pack, it should be placed in the freezer for at least 2 hours prior. When you’re not using it, you can keep it in the freezer, so that it remains ready for use. A tip for storage: wipe off any beads of moisture before putting it in the freezer.

One downside for this ice pack is that its seams might break easily.

Pros and Cons

  • Very Durable
  • Can be used in a First Aid Kit for Sports Teams
  • Easy to Use
  • Versatile Uses
  • Non-Toxic
  • The Seams Can Break Easily

Reusable Ice Pack for Knee

Here’s an ice pack designed for sports injuries related to the knee. It’s a reusable ice pack and includes a compression pump. The compression pump is designed to shape the pack to the knee and surrounding leg, in order to get the fastest relief possible. It’s a unique feature.

Because of the compression pump and the way this knee pack is created, the brace doesn’t move around and should stay in place. Velcro straps help with this.

The pack is said to stay colder longer than most other ice packs. Many consumers are saying this ice pack has been great for their knees.

One downside to this particular ice pack is that it might be annoying to store since it has the air pump attached.

Pros and Cons

  • Ideal for sports injuries
  • Air Pump for Compression
  • Doesn’t Shift Around
  • Stays Cold Longer
  • Might be cumbersome to store

Round Reusable Gel Packs

These round, reusable gel packs come in a set of 5. They extend the injury category to other pain as well. For example, they are ideal for toothaches, headaches, and more. You can warm them up by popping them in the microwave for 10 seconds.

They are pretty durable and should hold up under pressure. They are latex-free and non-toxic. You can keep them stored in a freezer until you need them.

A downside to these gel packs is that they probably won’t stay cold as long as others because they are small.

Pros and Cons

  • Pack of 5
  • Soft Ice Pack Option
  • Can Use Hot or Cold
  • Durable Gel Packs
  • Non-Toxic
  • Don’t Retain Temperature for Long

Ice Cold Pack Ohuhu Reusable Bag

These reusable ice pack bags are old school; my grandma has had one for decades. The amazing part is that they are simple and can work wonders.

These reusable ice pack bags are designed to do the same thing as any other ice cold packs–relieve pain, cramps, inflammation, etc. These bags can be applied hot or cold.

The Ohuhu Reusable Bags are sold in a set of three–offering three different sizes. The size variety is helpful because you might choose a smaller one for hand or toe pain–or for a toothache or a child. The larger ones can be used for the shoulder, waist, and other large parts of the body.

These reusable bags are advertised to be leak-resistant and to stay cold longer than the more modern, popular gel packs.

To use these ice bags, you have to remove the cap and dump in ice. The latex-free cotton that the bags are made from are designed to hold the cold in for longer and to prevent any leakage.

Probably the most negative thing about this ice bag option is that you have to manually put the ice in before using it. In contrast, ice packs are freezer-ready.

Pros and Cons

  • Pack of 3
  • 3 Different Sizes
  • Can Use Hot or Cold
  • Leak-Resistant
  • Stays Cold Longer
  • Easy to Use
  • Waterproof Bag
  • Latex-Free
  • Have to Prepare for Use

Cold & Hot Therapy Wrap

This cold and hot therapy wrap is ideal for applying cold relief to small body parts: foot, elbow, ankle, arm. This wrap could help provide relief for things like carpal tunnel and sprains.

The velcro strap should help you to position the pack where you want it–and in difficult positions–like a foot or hand.

One thing that could make this cold pack better is if the strap was tighter so that you could feel all of the effects of the cold pack.

Pros and Cons

  • Great for Small Body Parts
  • Velcro Strap
  • Strap doesn’t tighten for ultimate compression

Gel Ice Cold Compress

This gel cold pack is specially designed for injuries that are done to the shoulder, knees, neck, and back. When you purchase this product, you receive two cold, gel packs that are non-toxic. The packs are made with a material that is soft and vinyl. They can be stored in the drawstring pouch they come with.

These cold packs are reusable and pretty flexible for use. Many consumers are saying they offer a good quality cold pack and are worth the money.

A downside to these is that consumers are saying that although they are very flexible when warm, they are frozen like a rock after being in the freezer. This means that they can’t mold to the focus area as well as one might think. Only once they start warming up, do they get more bendable.

Pros and Cons

  • Versatile Use
  • Reusable
  • 2 Pack
  • Soft Vinyl Material
  • Non-Toxic
  • Pouch for Storage
  • Good Quality
  • Flexible
  • Inflexible When Cold

Koo-Care 2 Flexible Gel Ice Pack

The Koo-Care 2 Flexible Gel Ice Pack can be used as a cold or hot compress–each one has its benefits. The gel packs can be microwaved, frozen, or heated. The gel used in these packs is non-toxic.

The gel packs are flexible, soft, and are sold with a bag that holds them while they are being applied to the injured area.

This ice pack can be used on many parts of the body because of its size, flexibility, and strap. It is a great one to have around for sports injuries, and there’s a 1 year warranty on it. Koo-Care makes it sound like a completely hassle free warranty, so if you have any issues--send it back!

Many consumers are saying that this cold pack works as well as it says, and many are pleased with the results.

Some reports show that the cold pack might not last as long as it has advertised (up to 30 minutes at a time).

Pros and Cons

  • Comes with 2 Packs
  • Elastic Strap
  • Can Use Hot or Cold
  • Non-Toxic Gel
  • Soft & Flexible
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Versatile Uses
  • Temperature doesn’t last as long as advertised

O2 Cold Therapy Shoulder Brace

Here is an ice pack for shoulder injuries, and it includes a compression pump that expands the brace to give you the quickest and fullest relief. The shoulder brace is very hearty and provides a lot of coverage. Velcro straps keep it in place, and you can put it on over clothing.

You can take the gel liner out of the shoulder brace so that you can store it easily in the freezer.

The downside is that this cold pack is bulky and might be cumbersome to store/transport.

Pros and Cons

  • Shoulder Brace
  • Compression Pump
  • Gel Liner is Removable.
  • Bulky for Storage

Dynarex Instant Cold Pack

Dynarex’s Instant Cold Packs are disposable ice packs for injuries, and they come in packs of 24. They are great for emergencies because they are instantly cold– squeeze the bag to activate it. They are disposable, so you can throw them away after you’re done with them.

Because of their ease of use and instant gratification, these are great for sports injuries. They would be good to keep in a First Aid Kit.

These are a bit pricey considering you can only use each one once.

Pros and Cons

  • Pack of 24
  • Great for Emergencies
  • Versatile Uses
  • Great for sports injuries
  • Pricey Option


Cold packs can be a mini-lifesaver when it comes to injuries and pain related to the body. They are a quick and simple way to get some quick relief and to reduce swelling and inflammation.

There are many cold pack options available–targeted at specific body parts, reusable/throwaway. If you know there is a particular part of your body that might need one, buy one that’s suited for it.

One last note is that cold packs should be applied with a piece of cloth or clothing in between the cold pack and the skin. Some cold packs can be extremely cold and numb your skin too quickly.

It’s not a bad idea to keep a cold pack or two in the freezer for quick access–in the event that you should need one!