A pplying ice to a wound was proven to be the best way to reduce pain in the absence of painkillers. Today, ice therapy is used as a complementary after-injury or after-surgery treatment for a large number of cases as it helps reduce the edema and provides relief by numbing the nerve endings where the sprain or the wound occurred. The most common solution is to use ice packs since they come in handy, don’t cost a lot, and don’t take too much space in the freezer. Yet, a new option has started gaining popularity lately as more reviews mention the ice therapy machine as being more efficient in reducing post-surgery symptoms. In the following, we compare the two methods to see if it is more advantageous to switch to a device instead of using the traditional gel packs.
The first candidate is the cold therapy device, which consists of a reservoir that gets filled with water and ice. The reservoir is connected to a therapeutic pad through two hoses that carry the water pushed by the integrated pump. Using an ice therapy device is simple: the water is circulated and then gets back into the reservoir where it touches the ice again and decreases its temperature. This way, the water in the pad is always cold, so the sensation of numbness is maintained.
This option comes with a lot of benefits, but there are also a series of cons that need to be considered, as we are about to see.
This method is the most accessible, and this is why it is largely used not only at home but in hospitals as well. Cold packs were proven to reduce pain and inflammation similarly to machines and are used to treat postoperative pain in a large array of cases. Here are the bonuses and downsides you can expect when using cold packs.
Most patients who were exposed to ice therapy reported feeling an improvement in the pain level they perceived. The difference between the use of a machine and ice packs was not visible at this level, as they both helped reduce swelling and deal with aches. However, when assessing the comfort provided by the two methods, the general opinion is that an ice therapy device is simpler to use and, despite its larger dimensions, a more reliable pain reliever during trips.
Even if it is more expensive, it can be used again and again, and the best thing about it is that you don’t need to freeze the water in a certain shape. You can fill it with ice cubes or freeze water in bottles, which can last longer. The ice packs are great if you move a lot as they are compact and fit inside a bag. They are cheaper and produce good effects. Nevertheless, they are less comfortable to use, and this can make a big difference.