Best Ice Therapy Machines to Eliminate Swelling and Pain

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 11, 2019
Cold therapy using an ice therapy machine can effectively minimize post-operative pain and swelling and post-traumatic hemarthrosis. We have reviewed the five best ice therapy machine models specially designed to help you go through the recovery process with maximum comfort. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Controls
Pads
CONVENIENCES
WEIGHT
Warranty
 
PROS

The Ossur ice therapy machine is equipped with a Cold Rush knee pad, conveniently designed to deliver cold to areas under and over the knee and to the back side of the knee. This will ensure a deeper cold penetration and more consistent and effective treatment results.

CONS

The hoses might seem a bit stiff.

OUR VERDICT

Providing excellent compression and efficient cooling, the cryotherapy machine boasts whisper-quiet operation. The Cold Rush cold therapy system will help you reduce pain and swelling and speed up your knee recovery time to be back in the saddle as soon as possible.

detailed parameters
Controls

Flow control knob with 4 flow settings

Pads

Knee pad

CONVENIENCES

Tiltable handle, whisper-quiet operation (30 decibels)

WEIGHT

4.6 lbs 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The unit has a digital timer with a 30-minute increment that you can preset according to your doctor's recommendations. The device will provide steady cooling to constrict the blood vessels which helps prevent swelling and reduce pain during the recovery process.

CONS

It is rather heavy. 

OUR VERDICT

The Polar Products machine combines cold and compression therapy for the most effective pain relief. The unit comes with a knee compression wrap equipped with hook and loop closures for reliable fixation. This ice therapy machine is a great choice for home use. 

detailed parameters
Controls

30-minute timer with on/off switch

Pads

Universal pad, knee compression wrap

CONVENIENCES

Tiltable handle

WEIGHT

~ 8 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This cold therapy machine comes with an ergonomic universal pad. Thanks to its smart design, the pad can be used for knee, lumbar, shoulder, ankle, and elbow cold therapy.

CONS

The unit's handle might get in the way while you are pouring the water out.

OUR VERDICT

If you need to reduce post-operative swelling, inflammation, and pain, the Ossur ice therapy machine is a real saver. Featuring 4 flow settings, the device will allow you to adjust the cooling intensity according to your needs.

detailed parameters
Controls

Flow control knob with 4 flow settings

Pads

Universal pad

CONVENIENCES

Tiltable handle, whisper-quiet operation (30 decibels)

WEIGHT

4.6 lbs 

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Anatomically designed, the Aircast Ankle Cryo/Cuff pad will fully cover your foot and ankle. The pad has a universal fit so it can be comfortably adjusted on both the right and left leg, besides, it can suit any foot size.

CONS

The velcro straps might wear out with time.

OUR VERDICT

Successfully combining cold and compression treatment, this gravity-fed device needs no electric power. Lightweight and portable, the cooler has an ergonomic carry handle; it is easy to fill with water and ice and empty after use.

detailed parameters
Controls

On/off switch

Pads

Cryo/cuff pad (one size fits most)

CONVENIENCES

Tiltable handle, detachable cooler

WEIGHT

2.2 lbs

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Featuring a single flow setting and easy-to-follow instructions on its housing, this ice therapy machine is super simple in operation.

CONS

The locking/release mechanism could be more convenient. 

OUR VERDICT

The Ossur Cold Rush Compact System is equipped with a knee pad that will help to speed up post-traumatic and post-surgery rehabilitation, as well as recovery from sports injuries. It is a good value for the money.

detailed parameters
Controls

On/off switch

Pads

Knee pad

CONVENIENCES

Tiltable handle

WEIGHT

4.6 lbs 

Warranty

1 year

Ossur Kit Cold Rush w/ Knee Pad

Quiet and Powerful

Ossur is a worldwide renowned and respected manufacturer of non-invasive medical equipment. Their proclaimed mission is improving people's mobility and so the company offers a wide choice of effective prosthetic, osteoarthritis, and injury solutions. Going hand in hand with innovation and collaborating with leading medical professionals, they do their best to create high-quality postoperative and injury treatment products.

So it's no wonder this Ossur model is arguably the best ice therapy machine out there. The unit is equipped with a durable motor that provides excellent compression and a higher water flow rate than its competitors. At the same time, it boasts the quietest operation - the brushless motor only produces 30 dB at most, which means you can have all the benefits of the soothing treatment for as long as you need without suffering from noise pollution. Again, the ice to water ratio the machine has is the highest in the industry; combined with the design that decreases heat transfer from the appliance's motor to water, this feature will ensure up to 6 hours of continuous operation. Besides, the unit has insulated walls which will also help to stop the ice from melting too fast. An ergonomic locking lid will help prevent accidental spills.

Though this Ossur cold therapy system comes with a knee pad, it can be used with various Cold Rush pads that can be used for orthopedic and soft tissue injuries.

Review of Ossur Kit Cold Rush w/ Knee Pad Ice therapy machine

Safety Comes First

This functional cold therapy machine is very simple in operation. It has four settings - from 1 (minimum cooling) up to 4 (maximum cooling). However, you should read the instructions very carefully before using the device to avoid any cold injury. For example, you should never use the MAX setting for more than 30 minutes. The user manual lists all the contraindications and points out that you should consult your physician before the treatment and get a prescription with your cold therapy duration (total amount of time, the duration of each session and the length of breaks between them), the recommended flow setting, and instructions on inspecting your skin.

Please, remember to avoid direct contact with your skin to prevent it from becoming too cold. Always follow your physician's instructions on what insulation barrier to use between the pad and the injured tissue. You should never use cold applications while you are asleep, for you won't be able to check the skin.

Following your doctor's and the manufacturer's instructions, you will be able to control the pain during rehabilitation and recover sooner.

Ossur Kit Cold Rush w/ Knee Pad Ice therapy machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Polar Products Active 2.0 with Knee Compression Wrap

Designed for Post-Surgery Pain Relief

Cryotherapy is an effective remedy for pain and swelling; a high-quality cold therapy machine can become a real lifesaver during a postoperative period. FSA & HSA approved, this Polar Products model was specially designed to help you relieve post-surgery pain. It has an efficient pump that circulates the water providing effective cooling throughout the session. The unit is very quiet in operation so neither you nor your significant other will be disturbed if you use it at night. Moreover, the machine has a built-in timer with 30-minute increments. Owing to this feature, you will be able to preset the cooling time according to your practitioner’s instructions. Cold therapy is an effective method, but it is vital to carefully follow the recommendations and regularly monitor your skin condition to prevent cold injury. Proper control will help you get through the recovery process quickly and comfortably.

The Polar Products Active 2.0 comes with a universal U-shaped bladder that can be used on literally any part of your body - back, knee, limbs, or shoulder. For adjusting the pad, you will need a compression wrap specially designed for the target area. This purchase includes a knee and joint compression wrap with ergonomic hook and loop tabs that will help you hold the pad securely in place. Lumbar and shoulder compression wraps can be bought separately.

Review of Polar Products Active 2.0 with Knee Compression Wrap Ice Therapy System

Cold + Compression

This cold therapy machine is simple in use, however, you should follow all the instructions very carefully. When you pour water into the cooling reservoir, make sure it reaches the water fill line and avoid overfilling the reservoir as you add ice up to the return flow tube level. Connect all the hose tubes (make sure there are no bends that could restrict water flow) before plugging the unit in. Then, place the pad on a flat surface and turn the timer knob. Let it run for a few minutes to activate the cooling process and to make sure the water circulates through the bladder and back to the reservoir. Then, secure the bladder (remember, it might get very cold, so you should always put some insulation barrier between the pad and your skin) with an included wrap with hook and loop tabs. You can refill the reservoir with water and ice as the bladder gets less cold. Please do not forget to inspect your skin under the bladder as recommended.

Summing up, the Polar Products Active 2.0 is a reliable and effective ice therapy machine that will allow you to combine cold and compression therapy for the best pain relief results and quicker recovery time.

Polar Products Active 2.0 with Knee Compression Wrap Ice Therapy System in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Ossur Cold Rush w/ Universal Pad

When Control Matters

After surgery or injury, proper rest and effective pain relief are essential. That is why your chosen cold therapy machine should be as quiet as it should be convenient and efficient. The Ossur ice system has all the features you need for proper after-surgery care. The unit is equipped with a high-efficiency motor that produces almost no noise.

Of course, every patient has individual sensitivity to the cold. With that in mind, the manufacturer has provided as many as four flow settings. In other words, you will be able to adjust the cooling intensity from low to high depending on your physician's recommendations. Moreover, thanks to the well-thought-out design of the unit, the water inside it will provide consistent cooling for hours. As a result, there will be fewer trips to the sink and fridge for refilling the reservoir. The machine only weighs 4.6 lbs and has an ergonomic handle and a reliable locking lid that will help to prevent spills during use or carrying around.

Review of Ossur Cold Rush w/ Universal Pad Ice therapy machine

User-Friendly and Effective

The Cold Rush therapy system was specially designed to help you eliminate post-injury and post-surgery conditions such as localized swelling and pain. It can be used with a variety of pads depending on the target body part; this model comes with a universal pad that many users find the most comfortable for knee and for shoulder cold therapy. In the manufacturer's instruction booklet, you will find easy-to-follow instructions on shoulder and knee application of the item. Here are some tips on using the pad:

  1. Inspect the pad to make sure there are no defects.
  2. Before applying the pad, put an insulation barrier onto the target area.
  3. Fix the Cold Rush pad with elastic straps; make sure the wrap is not too tight for that might hinder water circulation and restrict blood flow.
  4. Connect the pad to the main unit (it should be already filled with water and ice, with the 12V power supply attached to its DC power port) and plug the appliance into a wall socket.
  5. Turn the flow control knob to the '3' setting to turn the unit on. When the temperature stabilizes, go to a lower/higher setting depending on your doctor's recommendations.

In a word, the operation is quite simple, but you should carefully follow the instructions and your physician's prescriptions to achieve the best treatment results.

Ossur Cold Rush w/ Universal Pad Ice therapy machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Aircast Ankle Cryo/Cuff

A Cold Welcome for Your Ankles

Minimizing post-traumatic hemarthrosis, swelling, and pain might be a challenging task unless you have quality medical equipment specially designed for this purpose. Using this ice therapy cooler with a cuff for ankle cold treatment is not only much more convenient than applying ice packs, but it is also way more effective. The cuff can be easily adjusted to your foot size with the help of ergonomic velcro straps. Featuring an anatomic design, it will fully cover the affected area.

Along with ice therapy, the device provides focal compression that helps fight injury symptoms and accelerate the healing process. Having said that, this Aircast model uses no electricity. The system is gravity fed which means no motor is needed to let the water into the cuff. As the device does not have to be connected to the mains, it can be used in any room of your house, anywhere it is convenient for you. Needless to say, it is energy-efficient and quiet.

Review of Aircast Ankle Cryo/Cuff Cryo/Cuff Cold Therapy with Non-Motorized Cooler

Make Gravity Work For You!

So, how does the Aircast gravity-fed ice system work? Connect the hose to the main unit, pour some water into the reservoir (one-third of its volume), and fill the rest with ice. Put the included insulation disk on top of the ice - this will prevent it from melting for a longer period of time - and screw on the lid. Apply the empty cuff and fix it with velcros. Open the valve on the top of the cooler and rise the latter up to let the cold water flow into the cuff. When the item is filled, close the vent. You can even disconnect the cuff for more freedom of movements. In such a way, you will be able to rest on a couch or sit at a table during procedure. The detachable cooler can be easily refilled to provide continuous treatment. When the water gets warm or when the session is over, just open the vent and put your foot on a higher level than the cooler is, to let it flow back. Refill the cuff with cold water if needed.

To put it in a nutshell, this Aircast Cold Therapy system is an easy-to-use and efficient device that can help you minimize ankle and foot pain and swelling.

Aircast Ankle Cryo/Cuff Cryo/Cuff Cold Therapy with Non-Motorized Cooler in the use

 

Ossur Cold Rush Compact

Compact and Whisper-Quiet

Being a smaller version of the Ossur Cold Rush system, this model is more compact and easier to handle. For the utmost convenience of use, the item has filling marks inside the reservoir with the maximum water and ice levels. Compared to the larger Cold Rush device, this model is even more simple in operation because it has only one flow setting. The downside is that you won't be able to vary the cooling temperature. However, the machine still provides continuous consistent cooling for hours allowing you the rest you need for post-surgery rehabilitation. The secret is in its high-quality motor, whisper-quiet in operation. This motor will provide continuous cold water circulation from the reservoir with water and ice to the pad and back again, soothing pain and minimizing swelling in the injured body part.

The Cold Rush system is compatible with large and small shoulder pads, left and right hip pads, a knee pad, foot & ankle pad, universal pad, lumbar pad, and a rectangular pad. In other words, this compact ice therapy machine can help you soothe pain in any body part.

Review of Ossur Cold Rush Compact System with Knee Pad

Intuitive Operation

In the box, you will find a pad for effective knee therapy and a 12V power supply. After you have filled the reservoir to the max marks, close the lid and attach the power supply. Always place an insulation barrier over the target area before applying the pad! To connect the pad to the main unit, push the couplings together and make sure they snap into place. You can only plug in the device after the pad is adjusted to the area to be treated. Please, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions, it is essential for proper treatment and a quick recovery. As cold therapy has certain contraindications, it should only be used if recommended by your physician.

To sum it all up, the Ossur Cold Rush Compact ice therapy machine is an effective and convenient device for knee cold therapy that can be used with any of the Cold Rush pads for other body parts treatment.

Ossur Cold Rush Compact System with Knee Pad in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is an Ice Therapy Machine?

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a way of treatment well known for centuries. Even today, it is widely used for surgical rehabilitation, thanks to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ice therapy machines were specially designed to make a cryotherapy session more comfortable for the patient. These handy devices have a reservoir for ice and water and a hose to connect it to a pad or cuff. Some machines have a motor that will make the cold water circulate through the pad, thus providing continuous consistent cooling. Non-motorized models use gravity to fill the cuff/pad and empty it as the water gets warmer. In any case, you won't have to constantly replace ice packs with new ones from the fridge. Moreover, cold therapy systems allow you to combine cold and compression for even more effective treatment. We have reviewed the five best ice therapy machines to narrow down your choice and help you select the one that suits you best.

While cold therapy allows you to slow down the metabolism and reduce swelling, bruising, and inflammation, heat therapy can help you stimulate blood flow, soothe sore muscles and relieve chronic pain, that is why we also recommend you to look through our heating pads and foot baths reviews.

What Features to Compare

Type

The first thing to keep in mind while choosing an ice therapy system for your needs is its type. There are both motorized and non-motorized units available on the market, so how to decide which is best for you?

Motorized devices need electric power to operate; they usually come with a power adapter, some models are battery-powered. The motor or pump circulates the water, chilled inside the reservoir with ice, through the pad. This provides efficient cooling throughout the procedure. Make sure your chosen unit is equipped with a quiet motor so that it will not disturb your rest.

The non-motorized coolers use no electricity and produce no noise pollution. On the other hand, you will need to place the reservoir higher than the pad to deliver water to your body part that needs treatment, and lower than the pad to make it flow back into the main unit. However, the pad can be disconnected from the main unit when it is filled with water, which gives you more freedom of movement.

Performance

Some patients are more sensitive to cold than others and some injuries require more intensive treatment. If you need the device that allows adjusting the cooling temperature, choose one with several flow settings. The faster the water circulates to the pad and back to the reservoir, the colder is the pad. Please, always follow your doctor's recommendations as for the cooling intensity and the procedure duration!

Pads

Most cold therapy machines come with a pad or cuff for the focused cold therapy. There is a variety of pads designed to be applied to all body parts, so make sure you buy the unit equipped with the one you need for treatment. For example, you can select the device that is equipped with a knee or shoulder pad or an ankle cuff. You can even select a unit with a universal pad that can be used on various body parts. Sometimes, compression wrap for adjusting the pad is also included. Usually, you can buy more pads or wraps additionally if needed.

Whichever pad you use, please keep in mind that usually it is not recommended to use directly on your skin to avoid frostbite.

Extras

Your chosen cold therapy machine's ergonomics are no less important than the other features. A compact design and convenient carry handle will add to the ease of use. A reliable locking lid will prevent spills and properly insulated walls will keep the ice from melting for a longer period. A detachable pad can be used while you refill the unit with ice and water.

Cold vs. Heat

Both cold and heat can be harmful to our body just as easily as they can be healing. The secret to successful physical therapy is in knowing how they affect our body.

Cold Therapy

  • Applying cold to tissues constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow, thus preventing bruising and swelling or, at least, minimizing these symptoms. That is why, cold therapy is extremely effective after acute injuries such as muscle sprains, strain, and soft tissue bruises. Combining cold with compression can enhance the therapeutic effect of the procedure, that is why using an ice therapy machine is a better option than applying ice packs to the bruised area. After serious injuries, an inflammatory process usually lasts for about two weeks; using the device during this period (according to your physician prescription) can help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Cold not only narrows blood vessels and slows blood flow; it numbs the nerve endings, so there will be fewer pain signals to the brain. That is why cold therapy systems are often used to manage pain during post-surgery rehabilitation.
  • The dose makes the poison, they say. You should only apply cold pads for a certain period of time and make breaks between applications. Moreover, cold therapy has its contraindications, so, please, consult your physician before the treatment. It is essential to carefully follow your doctor's recommendations: if improperly used, an ice therapy machine can cause frostbite.

Heat Therapy

  • Applying heat to a certain body area increases its temperature. This makes blood vessels expand, boosting the blood flow as well as nutrients and oxygen supply of the tissues, which helps speed up the healing process.
  • There are two main types of heat therapy: moist and dry. The first one includes hot baths, moist heating packs, and steamed towels. It provides deeper heat penetration and better pain relief. As for the second type, it increases blood circulation and relieves minor pain. For dry heat therapy, electric heat pads are used.
  • Thermotherapy can help you soothe body stiffness; it relaxes muscles and makes them more flexible. Decreasing muscle tension and soothing it effectively, it also helps to mitigate pain.
  • Just like cold, heat is not a universal remedy. It can make some conditions even worse. Being very effective for healing chronic injuries characterized by pain that lasts for months or even years, heat therapy still must not be used for acute injuries. You should never apply heating pads to the inflamed area. Ask your physician or physical therapist whether you can use heating therapy, which method to choose, and for how long the session should last.
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Publish Date: 2019-01-08 16:15:34