Your Cart is Empty

September 08, 2022

Relieving Pain with Gel Ice Packs

Ice packs are known for their impressive ability to relieve pain in acute injuries. Considering this, it is no surprise that they have become a household necessity. 

As humans, we are constantly bumping our heads, scraping our knees, and bruising our elbows. When these minor injuries show themselves, the first things we tend to turn to in this new age are ice packs. Some of us may already know that ice packs can not do all the work but in case you didn't know, ice packs alone can not heal an injury.

What other techniques can you combine with ice packs for pain relief? Are there alternatives to ice packs? What types of ice packs are there, and which is suitable for you?

Read on to find answers to these and many more questions.

What Are Gel Ice Packs Used For?

Apart from pain relief, ice packs can also be used to reduce inflammation, cool down fevers, and reduce swelling. When you place an ice pack on any part of your body, it cools the tissues beneath it and slows their metabolism. This is how it decreases inflammation. By reduction of nerve conduction and blood vessel constriction, it reduces pain.

Despite all these seemingly miraculous processes, it is impossible for ice packs to heal injuries on their own. This is why they are often used as part of a treatment processthe RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) technique.

  • Rest:The RICE technique begins with reducing the movement of the affected part of the body for a short period. You can rest it for a few hours each day for maximum effect and do it for as long as it takes for the part to heal. Rest is an underrated part of this process, but it is necessary if you do not want to worsen your condition. 
  • Ice:We will be focusing a bit more on this part of the process in the article. This step involves the use of reusable ice pack or a cold compress. It should be done meticulously with special attention paid to the time the ice pack is applied. The ice pack will help with pain relief and reduction of inflammation. If you notice your condition worsening, maybe your skin turning blue or feeling numb, you should remove the ice.
  • Compression:This would require athletic tape or elastic bandages to wrap the affected part of the body. Ensure that you do not wrap too tightly or for too long, as this can worsen things.
  • Elevation:The injured part of the body should be elevated, preferably above the heart. This will help to prevent blood from accumulating in that part. Pillows or slings can be used for limb elevation.

The Different Types of Ice Packs

There are various types of ice packs based on the type of substance they contain. They are:

  • Gel Ice Packs

Gel ice packs may just be the best type of ice pack, all things considered. These ice packs contain different gel types, which usually maintain their soft, mushy form even after being in the refrigerator. The fast-flex gel used by Hampton Adams is one of the best out there. It maintains a perfect consistency and retains its coldness for a long time.

Best ice packs for injuries can be reused over time which makes them, ultimately, more affordable. They are also more versatile in that they come in different shapes and sizes that can fit any body part. They can also be used as heat packs sometimes; you only need to put them in a microwave instead of a freezer.

The downside to gel ice packs is that they are not the best options for emergencies. This is because they require enough time for freezing before they can be used. 

  • Clay Ice Packs

Clay ice packs can be heavy, they may not weigh a stone, but they are considerably heavier than the other types of ice packs. Their weight defines a lot of things about them, especially the fact that they can not be easily carried around for emergencies or post-workout cooling. It is also because of their heaviness and tight particle arrangement that it takes more time for them to freeze. The upside to this weight and density is that they can retain cold for much longer compared to gel ice packs or instant cold packs.

Another significant downside to clay ice packs is that they can dry up when placed in direct contact with heat.

Clay ice packs are made of natural substances that reduce the risk of reactions, rashes, or allergies. They can be kept safely with food substances without the fear of contamination. They also stay soft after freezing.

  • Instant Cold Packs

Instant cold packs are the best choice for emergencies. They only require some vigorous shaking and folding to activate them. They are also light and do not require refrigeration; this is why they are easy to carry around in emergencies. 

Instant cold packs are not versatile, soft, or reusable. They often come in only one shape and size and thus can’t conform to different body parts. They also can’t maintain their temperature for too long. Instant cold packs can not be used as long-term solutions; they should only be found in the emergency first-aid box.

How to Properly Apply Ice Packs

Cryotherapy is the use of ice packs or any other form of ice for treatment. This form of treatment is in vogue today and for a good reason. Isn't it incredible how a  packet of cold water or gel can effectively and safely relieve you of pain, decrease swelling, and reduce inflammation in your injuries? 

The process by which ice packs do this has already been explained above, but that does not make it any less impressive. In addition to pain relief, they can also help relax tense muscles, decrease muscle spasms, and cool down fevers.

Heat packs are best for pains caused by bad posture and stiff sleeping positions, but ice packs are the ideal solution for recent acute injuries.

To properly ice a wound, wrap the ice pack in a clean (dry or moist) towel before applying. This allows your muscles to adapt slowly and prevents them from tensing up due to sudden contact with cold. Furthermore, wrapping is important for preventing frostbites and disruption of blood flow. The towel will also help the ice pack to retain its temperature for much longer.

Ice packs should not be applied for more than twenty minutes; ten to fifteen minutes are usually enough. After about twenty to thirty minutes, it is even possible that the ice pack would have melted, especially if it is not up to the proper standard.Hampton Adams is among the few brands that make quality ice packs that are capable of maintaining their temperature for a long time.  Our use of fast-flex gel is what makes this possible. 

Some conditions like diabetes, cancer, meningitis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis may prevent you from using ice packs or lead to extreme reactions if you do use them. Consult your doctor if you are dealing with any of these conditions to confirm whether ice packs are safe for you. 

Alternatives to Gel Ice Packs for Relieving Pain

Apart from ice packs, there are other ways of relieving pain.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine. It involves an acupuncturist inserting thin, sterilized needles into targeted points of the body in a bid to relieve pain in a specific part of that body.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): This is a type of therapy where electrodes are placed on the affected part of the body near the pain points. The electrodes release electrical impulses that can help relieve pain.
  • Chiropractic treatment: Chiropractors are medical practitioners that deal with and develop various ways of improving the movement of the human body. They treat musculoskeletal problems, especially those with neurological origins. They can also provide short-term or long-term relief and prescribe exercises that will help you keep the pain at bay. Massages and saunas are also good options for relieving pain in tight muscles.
  • Steroid injections: These may be injected into the muscles, spinal joints, or nerve roots of the affected area. They will help relieve pain and loosen up the muscles. Numbing medication can also be employed instead.
  • Surgery: an invasive procedure that is usually a last resort, surgery is rarely needed for pain relief unless it is very severe or is a neurological condition.

Hampton Adams Ice Packs and Taping Equipment

Taping tools and ice packs that may be needed for first-aid treatment of minor injuries in the home can be found at Hampton Adams. It gets even better when you consider that we serve up nothing less than quality!