Remember how the old folks always pressed a pack of frozen peas on every internal injury? That is the easiest form of cold therapy. Now it is an effective way to deal with muscle pains, headaches and similar conditions. A simple ice pack or a pack of frozen peas do the job for mild injuries. However, if the swelling demands continuous and regular cold or ice therapy, it is wiser to invest in a good ice therapy machine. The best thing about these machines is that they are capable of maintaining a constant temperature for as long as they are on and you don’t have to worry about refilling them with ice.
Now cryotherapy machines may be one of two types, ones with a motor or without. They are excellent for spot cold therapy. They temporarily numb the nerve endings to relieve pain almost instantly. They are also found to prevent peripheral muscle damage. This helps you recover quicker and with little trouble. To make the choice simpler, here is a list that will come handy.
Top 5 Best Ice therapy Machines in 2021
#1 Ossur Cold Rush Therapy System
The first cold therapy machine on our list is the trusted Ossur Cold Rush Therapy System. It has a motor that is quiet with a sound magnitude of 30decibels and is highly efficient. The whole device is lighter than 4.5 pounds so it won’t hamper your mobility. It comes with a large shoulder pad so that any part of your body can receive cold therapy without any hassles. This machine works on one Li-ion battery and can go on for about 6 hours. The device comes with features like a spill proof lid which makes handling hassle-free. The 4 level selection knob is its best feature and allows you to set the temperature to your comfort.
#2 Polar Products Active Ice 3.0
The next to feature on this list is the Active Ice 3.0 by Polar products. This ice therapy machine also operates with the help of its brushless DC motor. The motor however is pretty quiet and doesn’t make its presence felt. The device is loaded with great features. The reservoir for instance has a 9 Quart capacity. Furthermore, the reservoir can be switched to their optional 15 Quart reservoir. That would mean fewer refills of ice and water and longer therapy hours. It is one of the best machines for knees and joint cold therapy. It comes with a digital on/off timer which can be incremented to your requirement in steps of 30 minutes. The add-on ability to switch off automatically after 30 minutes is its unique selling point. The compression bladder that comes with the system also allows this machine to double up as a cold compress as per your need. To compensate for its bulky design, the connecting tubes are detachable to allow you to move around easily. It is certainly one of the top performers in the motorized ice therapy machine segment.
#3 Vive Cold Therapy Machine
If you are a patron of design, the Vive cold therapy machine will leave you impressed. The machine comes with a clear ice reservoir with guidelines so that you always know the status of ice within it. This machine is particularly designed for the joints and knees. The knee strap is stretchable to allow maximum comfort. The best part about this cold therapy machine is that it brings 5 cycle time rates in steps of 30 minutes. Of course you may also set the timer for lower than 30. This flexibility is an excellent feature. The machine overall is quiet and can hold up to 6 liters worth of ice and water in it. What’s more, it comes with a 1 year guarantee from Vive which is a huge promise from the company.
#4 Aircast Cryo Cuff
The Aircast Cryo cuff is one of the best non-motorized options for cold therapy. The simple design includes a reservoir for cold water which is connected by a tube to the knee strap. Now this machine is designed mainly for the knees. The reservoir needs to be placed at a height as compared to the knee strap and let gravity do all the work. The water from the reservoir flows into the knee strap and provides the ice therapy needed. Although the gadget is not very advanced, it manages to perform pretty well. It weighs less than 4 pounds and can be easily carried around.
The last to feature on this list is the NatraCure hot, cold and compression shoulder support. Specifically designed for icing the shoulder the shoulder strap can be adjusted to fit the right or left shoulder. Yet another ice therapy device that falls into the non-motorized category, this is possible the simplest of cold therapy devices. The shoulder pad is filled with gel which can be heated in a microwave for heat therapy and can be chilled in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes for cold therapy. It also comes with a compression bladder which can be used for compression therapy. The entire system is washable and extremely light weight. The superior gel technology makes it a hassle free and effective hot and cold compression therapy system. Although it is missing features of times and temperature levels, it seems to be making up by its simple design and effective combination of heat and cold compress in a single device.
How does COLD/ICE Therapy Work?
Cryotherapy has been proven to reduce muscle swelling and sprain like injuries by constricting blood vessels and reducing the flow of too much blood into that region. Lesser blood flow brings down the inflammation in that region and also numbs the area. This effectively brings down the pain and helps with quicker healing. That’s why cold compresses and ice packs are a paramedic’s go-to for such internal injuries of the muscle. In the common man world, cryotherapy is simply known as ice therapy or cold therapy.
Uses of Cold/Ice Therapy
The use of ice often alone and some times in combination with heat has always been an effective method of treating injuries to the muscle. Sports injuries in particular like a pulled hamstring, sprains and acute swelling of muscles are primarily instances where cold therapy is applied. The combined ability of ice to reduce the diameter of the blood vessels and the numbing effect on the skin makes it suitable for these acute injuries. Ice therapy is effective in treating muscle spasms and severe migraines. Cold therapy is often recommended post certain surgeries due to its benefits. It is also a trusted method for athletic injuries at the gym or outdoors. By bringing down inflammation and pain, it could lend you a helping hand in dealing with sore muscles after exercise. It encourages you to follow a fitness routine more diligently.