Generally there are three types of Ice Packs used for sports injuries.
Firstly there are Instant Cold Packs which last up for 30 minutes, secondly there are hot/cold packs and finally they are reusable ice bags. All of these cold treatments can be used as part of RICER and are commonly used to alleviate the pain and inflammation of sporting injuries. There are though differences which lead to one been chosen over the other by physio’s and Sporting Clubs. These are highlighted below:
Instant Cold Packs – These Ice Packs are ideal for sporting clubs/events where there is no convenient access to a freezer or ice dispenser. While our Instant Cold Packs last for 30 minutes which is the maximum recommended time that cold treatment should be administered at a time, when a severe injury occurs there may be a need to reapply cold therapy regularly over a long period of time so several packs may be needed. Instant cold packs are also ideal in situations where injuries are rare – as a backup in case of an injury.
Hot/Cold Packs – The key advantage of these packs is that they can used for both Hot Therapy or Cold Therapy as they can be microwaved or placed in a freezer. This item is popular as its reusable and cost efficient. The key issue is that if applied directly it may cause irritation or burning to the skin so a compression cuff is strongly recommended.
Reusable ice bags – This type of ice pack has grown in popularity over the past decade and is regularly used by premiership clubs. The key advantage is there is no need for a nearby freezer but instead just ice which can be inserted into the bags. As Ice is required for other requirements at sporting events (e.g. for cooling down drinks) its availability makes these ice bags ideal.