10 Best Ice Packs for Runners Tested
Cool off overheated and sore muscles with a review of the best ice packs and CryoTherapy tools currently available for runners in this big review guide!
There is no denying that a bag of frozen peas can be a surprisingly useful ice pack. That said there are quite a few limitations a bag of peas is going to have (clumps of frozen peas, limited coverage). If you’re serious about taking care of your body you can do better than a bag of frozen vegetables.
If anyone needs a refresher on why ice is so important after strenuous exercise check here. Running is a sport of repetitive motion and with this repetitive motion comes a good deal of wear and tear. Ice is widely accepted to be the best treatment for not only addressing the general inflammation of running but any acute injuries that crop up as well.
6 Best Ice Packs for Runners
Roscoe Medical Hot & Cold Reusable Gel Pack
- Helps assist with a variety of aches/pains in different body parts
- Good for sprains, contusions, headaches and even toothaches
- Three convenient sizes
- Won’t freeze solid like a block, maintains flexibility
- Has a chemical smell at first
- User friendly, Convenient, self icing tool
- Plastic handle does not conduct cold temperature leaving your hands unaffected; simply fill cup with water toss in the freezer
- Can be used for sensory stimulation, splint cooling, or general muscle workover
- Indefinitely reusable (eco-friendly) easy to clean
- Easy to use, simple straightforward
- May start to crack after long use, due to repeated hot/cold transitions
Moji MK2 Knee Ice Wrap
- 2 part compression wrap made from pliable material
- Polartec high performance material, adjustable closures for variable pressure
- Convenience and mobility — walk around the house while you ice
- The Moji cold cell’s contours to the knee and stays in place
- The cold surface consists of 18 individual cells that secure the gel packets in place
- Some wished it was a bit larger
Polar Ice Foot and Ankle Wrap, Cold Therapy Ice Pack
- Polar Ice is great for cold therapy after surgery, when recovering from injuries, or for simple preventive maintenance
- Build to articulate perfectly around the ankle, providing as much coverage as possible
- Has hook & loop closure straps
- Surface has soft fleece covering to protect skin
- They make a similar ice wrap built for the knee
- It could be a bit more pliable
Pro-Tec Athletics Hot/Cold Therapy Wrap
Material: Polyester 45% Neoprene 55%
Size: Varies, depending on which option you choose
- Provides a deep penetrating cold and/or heat compress for therapeutic uses
- Is form fitting but does not constrict while applied
- Dual strapping system ensures uniform compression and holds the pack firmly in place
- Best for knees, ankles, feet, wrists and elbows — but can be used essentially anywhere
- Comes in two convenient size that will cover most people
- A few suggest that it be made a bit wider
TheraPearl Shin Wraps, Reusable Hot Cold Therapy
- Shin wraps are perfect for shin splints, stress fractures and more
- Specifically engineered to hold temperature for the medically recommended period of time
- Simply pop in the freezer or toss in the microwave
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Latex and BPA free
- Some wish that they would adjust tighter
Icing is a form of cryotherapy that can be practiced in a variety of different ways. Below we’ll be focused on the most basic one, good old fashioned ice compresses and packs. But your self treatment need not end there. Of late professional athletes and celebrities have begun popularizing a form of cryotherapy that immerses your whole body (safely) in a machine that blasts you with sub zero temperatures for a short period of time. This is said to have the benefits of standard icing to an exponential power (among other things).
There machines are quite expensive, but there are clinics starting to open around the the US which offer this treatment on an outpatient basis. If you are interested in this read on more information is at the bottom of the article.
Ultimately whether or not you decide to try out a cryotherapy machine investigating which ice packs are best for runners is definitely worth a couple minutes. The way a pack is designed and cut can have a drastic impact on its effectiveness, not to mention its level of user friendliness
CryoTherapy Frequently Asked Questions
Who developed this technology?
Whole body cryotherapy was originally developed in the 1970’s, in Japan, to treat patients with arthritis. It has since been popularized, studied, and refined in Europe.
How exactly does it work?
To cite CyroHealth’s description it: uses gasiform nitrogen to lower the client’s skin surface temperature by 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of roughly two-three minutes. The Cryochamber is cooled using liquid nitrogen but clients make no direct contact with the gas. The skin reacts to the cold and sends messages to the brain that acts as a stimulant to the regulatory functions of the body. It produces the scanning of all areas that may not be working to their fullest potential. The skin exposure to the extreme temperatures also triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules and endorphins.
Who uses full body CryoTherapy?
This treatment has the potential to be of benefit to anyone. The Cleveland Cavaliers and celebrities such as Tony Robbins have been known to use it. The average consumer will likely not afford a CryoSauna of their own, but clinics are always an option as well.
Is it comfortable?
It’s a more than tolerable process. You are required to wear some protective cover on your extremities — and the worst you are likely to face is some pins and needles afterwards.
How do I feel after the treatment?
Everyone’s experience is different but ideally you will feel relaxed, more energetic and in a good mood (due to the release of endorphins and hormones). Not to mention the easing of accumulated inflammatory wear and tear on the body.
Can I catch a cold because of this procedure?
No, a CryoTherapy session elevates your internal body temperature for a short period of time which is meant to stimulate your immune system, potentially increasing your ability to fight off a cold.
We like to provide a balanced view of a topic and there is no doubt full body CryoTherapy has its skeptics. WebMD has offered a few helpful opinions (some positive, some skeptical) on this style of CryoTherapy.