Ice isn't just for cold drinks - it's also the most convenient and safest treatment to ease pain and swelling from minor injuries.But applying ice cubes directly onto the skin can get messy. That's why you need the best ice packs for physical therapy.

To help you get back on your feet, here is our list of the best ice packs for physical therapy that you can choose from:

Best Overall: FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack With Straps

Are gel packs better than ice?

Used by thousands of therapists and health care professionals across America, the FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack With Straps definitely tops our list as the best of the best. This ice pack not only relieves the initial pain from injury - the cold also goes deep under the skin to benefit both the bones and tissues for longer lasting relief. It benefits new injuries by decreasing metabolism in the affected area to reduce swelling, and treats old ones by decreasing inflammation. Some of the conditions that respond well to this ice pack include: tendonitis, arthritis and bursitis.

Is the liquid in ice packs toxic?

This ice pack is filled with a gel substance that chills instantly when placed in the refrigerator. Aside from being non toxic, the gel stays colder for longer - unlike other products on the market that use bentonite formulations that only last for a few minutes.

Pliability is the key to getting the job done right - and the FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack is one of the most pliable products to date. The gel substance remains completely flexible even when frozen at your freezer's lowest temperature. Because of this feature, this ice pack easily conforms to any body part, whether it be the lower back, knees or shoulders for more targeted and effective treatment.

How long do ice packs last?

This is ice pack is built to last for hundreds of quality cold therapy treatments because of its premium grade construction. It features an exterior layer made with heavy duty nylon and fully enforced with double sealed seams, so you never have to worry about leaking. To make sure that the cold lasts longer, this ice pack also has a fully insulated layer. It also features two 24-inch straps that are extra stretchable and can be securely attached to any part of the body to firmly hold the ice pack in place.


  • Professional grade gel substance
  • Heavy duty nylon exterior
  • Fully insulated layer
  • Two 24-inch Velcro straps
  • Double sealed seams
  • Comes in three sizes: S, M, L

Best Budget: Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack

the best ice packs on a budget

If you're looking for an easy way to treat injuries that won't empty out your wallet, then the Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack is the best choice for you. But don't be fooled by its cheap price - this ice pack is one of the safest products for your skin. The outer layer is made from either two materials: blue vinyl or black polyurethane. These materials are latex free, which means they're soft on skin and prevent irritation - perfect for users of all ages.

This ice pack is filled with non-toxic silica gel that remains pliable even when frozen at the lowest temperatures - so that it stays flexible and pliable throughout your treatment. If features a versatile design that can be used on all parts of the body, from the lower back to the neck area.

Designed for both clinical and home use, this ice pack delivers insulated cold therapy that not only reduces swelling for ordinary sprains and bruises, but also offers long term treatment for post surgery uses. It promises up to 30 minutes of cooling therapy and comes highly recommended by health care professionals as an economical and budget-friendly solution for pain relie


  • Non toxic silica gel
  • Patented anatomical design
  • Available in blue vinyl and black polyurethane
  • One year limited warranty

Best For Back: The Coldest Water Ice Pack

best ice packs for back

Some of the most painful sores and bruises occur on our lower back - and your first line of defense when it comes to these kinds of problems is The Coldest Water Ice Pack. Measuring at 15.2 by 11.7 inches, this ice pack is one of the largest products on our list. Its size is one of this ice pack's main features because it's wide enough to cover the entire lower back and other larger problem areas on other parts of your body.

True to its brand name, this ice pack delivers one of the coldest reliefs from pain and comes highly recommended by doctors as a therapeutic aid. The insulated inner is filled with cool gel made of a combination of cellulose, glycerol and water - all non toxic and safe to use, even for users with sensitive skin.

Using patented flex technology, this ice pack is fully pliable and molds to the body for faster recovery. This feature also helps distribute cold therapy evenly over the entire surface. To keep the ice pack steady and secure, it comes with a removable sleeve and strap made of customized webbing that allows faster cold transfer from the pack to the skin. And the best part? It only takes 2 hours for this ice pack to become completely frozen for longer use.


  • Patented flex technology
  • Gel made of cellulose, glycerol and water
  • Free removable sleeve and adjustable straps
  • Customized webbing

Best For Knee: Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap

best ice packs for knees

From long days at work to injuries from sports - our knees take up most of the beating. With a long list of premium features, the Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap promises to help your knees recover faster so you can perform better. It's designed to treat various kinds of knee-related injuries, including: sprains, ACL and osteoarthritis.

What we love most about this ice packs?

is its versatility - it offers both cold and hot therapy. The cold works by reducing swelling and numbing pain, while heat increases blood flow and helps restore movement to injured tissue. This wrap comes fully equipped with three removable Arctic Flex gel packs that are inserted into three pockets located on the front and back of the knee. The result is customizable compression for more targeted pain-relieving support.

Built to be reusable, this ice wrap is constructed using soft neoprene blend fabric that is lightweight and breathable for added comfort. And like similar products on the market, it's also latex free and non toxic. Secured with a strong fastener system that features four adjustable straps, this versatile ice wrap is reversible and can be used on either the left or right knee.


  • Lightweight neoprene blend fabric
  • Three removable Arctic Flex gel packs
  • Four adjustable straps
  • Fits knee circumferences up to 21 inches
  • 60 day money-back guarantee

Best For Shoulder, Neck, And Ankle: TheraPAQ Pain Relief Flexible Ice Pack For Injuries

best ice packs for shoulders

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the TheraPAQ Pain Relief Flexible Ice Pack. Initially intended for professional athletes, this ice pack is one of the best go-to treatments for sports related injuries. It features an extra long belt that follows the contours of the body and fits all body parts - from stiff neck and shoulders to sprained ankles.

This product serves a double purpose: it can be placed in the fridge as an ice pack or heated in the microwave as a compression pad. The design features an easy strap-on system equipped with elastic hook-and-loop straps that you can fully adjust for a more customized fit. Ideal for both home and outdoor use, it only takes 30 minutes for you to get that much-needed pain relief.


  • Leak-proof blue plastic pack
  • Non toxic gel filling
  • Elastic hook-and-loop straps
  • 100% money back guarantee

(Related: the best knee sleeves of 2020)

How does an ice pack work?

For years, ice packs have become popular among physical therapists because of their several beneficial effects. During an initial injury, an ice pack is applied onto a patient's skin in order to treat tissue damage that causes uncontrolled swelling. The cold brought about by the ice pack causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels that help reduce inflammation near the problem area. It also helps remove the sensation of pain by slowing down the transmission of nerve signals that carry the pain stimulus to the rest of the body.

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