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Best ice gel packs for after surgery pain - Buying Guide: 2022

Heat and cold therapies have been used for many years in the post-operative phase after orthopaedic, facial and abdominal surgery. This is due to their proven benefits in relieving pain and inflammation more quickly.

Therefore, hot and cold gel packs are used to control inflammation and reduce nerve sensitivity. This results in less pain and faster recovery from surgery. Join us to learn how to use hot and cold gel packs for pain relief after surgery or postoperatively!

What is the best ice gel pack for after surgery pain?

Gelpacks Direct - Reusable Elbow Gel Ice Pack for Sports Injuries
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Elbow
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Adjustable Velcro strap
  • Microwave safe
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Quality materials
  • Medium flexibility with cold therapy
  • Only one per order
With the Gelpacks Direct therapeutic elbow support, you'll keep your joint aligned and pain-free while recovering faster from the symptoms of tennis elbow and golfer's elbow syndrome. Its adjustable strap design allows you to keep your elbow aligned to prevent further injury and reduce inflammation and pain. It's perfect for use with heat or cold therapy and, thanks to its versatility, you'll be able to combat symptoms of tendonitis, arthritis and bursitis.

Its velcro fastening system will prevent slippage, without losing flexibility in movement. To apply heat, you only need to place the thermal wrap in the microwave for two minutes and, if you want to combine it with the effects of cold, you will have to freeze it for 2 hours. Please note that the material may cause irritation and the compression may be insufficient.

Tolaccea - Elbow Compression sleeve with reusable gel pack for arm injuries
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Arm, Elbow, Leg, and Knee
  • Fit Type: Elastic
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Optimal fit
  • Heat/cold therapy
  • Microwaveable
  • For various body areas
  • Bulky design
  • Large sizes only
The benefits of hot and cold therapy can be easily achieved through the Tolaccea elbow sleeve. This compressive sleeve covers 360° of the treatment area, which helps for easy recovery. You can wear it at the gym or when you are at home, as its gradual compression stimulates blood circulation and prevents blood displacement.

It is microwave and freezer safe and the gel pad is reusable, which will help you to keep this product for a long time. It does not restrict the mobility of the elbow due to its non-velcro system, helping to maintain a better comfort during use. It is recommended for both men and women, but in some cases it may slip due to the fact that it does not generate the correct fit in certain elbow sizes.

KEDLEY - Reusable Hot and Cold Gel Pack with Positioning Pouch for Muscle Pain Relief
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Elbow, Back, Knee, Ankle
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Extra large pack
  • Microwaveable
  • Heat/cold therapy
  • Adjustable Velcro strap
  • Medium flexibility with cold therapy
  • Bulky design
The Kedley hot and cold gel reusable elbow brace is perfect for use after workouts. The flexible band material will keep the sleeve snug all the time for increased comfort and compression. Thanks to these benefits you will get therapeutic results much faster and avoid harmful movements that often affect the joint.

You can use this reusable gel pack to treat tennis elbow syndrome, arthritis and bursitis by simply placing it in the microwave or refrigerator to achieve the desired temperature. The support points can be modified according to your needs, as you only need to pull the protective cover to get the best results. For some users, the quality of the material and the compression caused skin irritation.

Magic Gel - Reusable Gel pack for Relief for Lower Lumbar, Sciatic Nerve
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Lower back
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 2 Gel Packs
  • Velcro strap
  • 2 Gel Packs
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Fully adjustable
  • Little flexibility with cold therapy
  • Not microwaveable
The Magic Gel thermal girdle for men and women is ideal for adjusting the lower spine and generating the necessary temperature to produce a relaxing effect on the muscles. The latter benefit is due to the results that thermotherapy and cold therapy deliver directly to the affected area. Its ergonomic design is recommended to combat symptoms of low back pain, herniated discs and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

The ice and heat packs are removable and can be placed in the refrigerator or microwave, depending on the therapeutic benefit you are looking for. The neoprene cover is flexible and does not deform during use, which helps to better adapt to the tender points in the lumbar region. Please note that, in some patients, the support was not ideal for stabilising the joint.

FlexiKold - Reusable Gel Cold Pack for First Aid, Sports Injuries, Pain Relief and Cold Therapy
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Various body areas
  • Type of fit: None
  • Cover: No
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Large size
  • Gel Packs
  • Long lasting cold therapy
  • Suitable for various body areas
  • Medium flexibility with cold therapy
  • Not suitable for heat therapy
The protection generated by the FlexiKold ice pack is suitable for keeping the temperature in the lumbar region under control. Thanks to this action and the ergonomic design, which easily adapts to the user's anatomy, you will keep the sensitive areas of the spine supported and stimulate blood circulation. In addition, the cold therapy will help to reduce inflammation of the affected nerves and tissues.

The pain from sports injuries will be reduced by using this freezer heating pad, just apply it for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day directly to the affected area. But that's not all, you can also use it on the neck and shoulder or other parts of the body to relieve pain. It does not include straps, so you cannot apply compression therapy.

Medcosa - Large Gel Ice Pack for Injuries, Knee, Back, and Shoulder Pain Relief
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Various body areas
  • Type of fit: None
  • Cover: No
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Suitable for various body areas
  • Long therapy duration
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Medium flexibility with cold therapy
  • Not suitable for microwave
Improve hip joint range of motion with a Medcosa heating pad. Its padding is made of a medical gel that allows the benefits of cold therapy and thermotherapy to be easily applied. Thanks to this advantage it is possible to achieve faster deflation of the tendons and muscles in the affected area and, at the same time, shorten recovery from any type of lower back injury.

You can apply this treatment on various parts of the body and without relying on anyone else. You will only need to get the therapeutic temperature by placing it in the refrigerator or microwave and then place it on the sensitive lumbar areas. It is recommended for treating symptoms of sciatica, pulled muscles and inflamed discs. The material may overheat as you use it and tends to lose its temperature retention property.

Gelpacks Direct - Gel ice pack for knee pain relief with Compress Wrap
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Knee
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1
  • Adjustable strap
  • Protective cover
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Quality materials
  • Only one per order
  • Only one size
Thanks to the Gelpacks Direct hot and cold pack, you can apply compression therapy, cryotherapy and thermotherapy to the knee, all in one product. This is due to its design, which allows the removal of reusable heating pads to be placed in the microwave or refrigerator, and its elastic strap that generates the compression necessary for the stimulation of blood circulation and joint alignment.

It is lined with a soft fabric that prevents slippage and maintains comfort. It also has an adjustable, perforated strap made of synthetic material, which can cause irritation to the front of the knee. It is ideal for relieving pain from muscle tears and inflammation of patellar ligaments, thanks to the combination of complementary treatments that are applied naturally.

Vive - Ice Gel Packs for Knee pain, Arthritis, Surgery and Workout Pain Relief
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Knee
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 2
  • Quality stitching
  • 2 Gel Packs
  • Heat/cold therapy
  • Optimal fit
  • Only one per order
  • Short therapy duration
Maintain your sporting performance at all times by recovering from knee injuries as quickly as possible. You can do this with a Vive knee wrap, which gives you the possibility to apply hot and cold therapy to relieve pain from arthritis, surgery and patellar tendonitis. It can be used by both men and women, and thanks to its breathable material you can increase the time of use.

The removable heating pads, together with the gel band around the patella, combine compression with temperature for more effective relaxation effects, while still protecting and insulating sensitive areas. The versatile design stabilises both kneecaps, so you can use this brace on both legs. Please note that in some patients the upper band is insufficient and can easily come off.

Video: How to use hot and cold gel packs?

Types of hot & cold packs you should know about

How can symptoms be reduced after surgery?

People who undergo surgery are most afraid of the complications of surgery and post-operative pain. Every surgical procedure triggers a physiological inflammatory process. To interrupt this process, doctors use various useful therapeutic agents.

Pharmacological

The most important remedies include analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs work very well and, when administered pre- and post-operatively, lead to very good results.

The type of medication and its administration should be prescribed by a specialist on an individual basis. If the pain is severe, opioids can help relieve the pain. NSAIDs can be given intravenously for the first 48-72 hours and then orally for 5 days. However, any medication can have side effects and should be monitored. There are other alternatives for pain relief and anti-inflammation that contribute to a more satisfactory clinical improvement.

Other therapeutic

Certain techniques and behaviours can also be used after surgery to relieve painful symptoms. These are the easiest and simplest to perform:

  • Physical measures: Depending on the type of surgery, certain physical measures should be taken to avoid postoperative complications. It is important to move and walk for short periods of time and avoid long periods of inactivity to avoid complications. Facial movements can also be used in facial surgery to promote clinical improvement.
  • Cold therapy: cold offers great benefits in both minor and major surgical procedures. It should be applied to the area where the surgery was performed for the first 24-72 hours. There are currently many options for placement, with gel packs being best for cold and heat.

Benefits of ice gel packs to relieve pain after surgery

Cold therapy has been shown to be the best way to relieve post-operative pain and inflammatory processes. Science considers cryotherapy to be one of the most effective methods for pain relief.

The direct application of cold during operations on the abdomen, jaw, face and extremities significantly reduces the additional use of painkillers. In operations on extremities and joints, it reduces swelling and facilitates physiotherapy. The benefits of cryotherapy have proven to be very lasting and effective. The cold not only relieves pain and inflammation, but also prevents further tissue damage by preserving the integrity of the cells.

Cooling the area triggers a number of physiological responses that have a very positive effect on the injury:

  • Reduced pain nerve conduction: The local application of cold significantly reduces the speed of sensory nerve impulses. In other words, the speed of pain propagation in the peripheral nerves is significantly reduced. In other words, cryotherapy acts like a local anaesthetic.
  • Vasoconstriction of the tissue and reduction of oedema and inflammation: Cold causes local vasoconstriction, which immediately reduces blood flow. This reduces tissue metabolism and delays the release of chemical precursors of inflammation. It also prevents the lymphatic system from draining fluid into the interstitial space, thus preventing oedema.
  • Prevents tissue damage and promotes rapid recovery: The cold temperature reduces the function of cells that are not affected by the trauma caused by the operation. It preserves their integrity and also slows down the damage to the affected cells. This leads to a faster recovery of the tissue and a clinical improvement of the surgical procedure.

How can ice gel packs be used to reduce swelling in the surgical area?

Using cold gel packs to reduce swelling in the surgical area is very simple. We recommend that you follow the recommendations below to ensure an adequate therapeutic effect:

  • Cooling the pack: The pad should be cooled in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 2 hours. This is the minimum time required for our packs to provide the greatest benefit in the affected area.
  • Check the temperature: After the prescribed time, check the temperature of the gel pack by touching it. If it is not at the right temperature, you can leave it for a few more minutes. If it is too cold, you can leave it outside the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Apply to the area to be treated: our packs are designed to be used directly on the area of injury and therefore do not need a cover. They have a soft fabric on one side that does not allow direct contact with the skin. Some of our models are equipped with a compression strap to hold the area more comfortably.
  • The first 24-72 hours: Place the cold gel packs on the surgical site for 15-20 minutes. It is important not to exceed 30 minutes and to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Elevation of the area: This depends on the area in question. It is much more suitable for operations on the extremities and their joints. In any case, it improves swelling considerably.
  • Check the skin: During the application of cryotherapy, the condition of the skin should be monitored. If discolouration occurs, stop immediately.
  • Put the gel pack back in the freezer: After the cold exposure time has elapsed, the gel pack should be put back in the freezer. This will keep it at the correct temperature until the next exposure.
  • Ensure the integrity of the gel pack: Do not sit on, lean on or walk on the gel pack. This may cause the gel pack to break and deteriorate.

The best hot and cold gel packs for pain relief

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