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Best ice gel packs for tennis and golfers elbow pain - Buying Guide: 2022

Tennis elbow or golfer's elbow is a condition caused by frequent and prolonged overflexion of the elbow, resulting in greater than normal extension. It is characterised by pain on the inside of the elbow that gradually spreads to the part of the wrist closest to the little finger.

Therefore, this article will explain how to use hot and cold gel packs to relieve the pain of tennis elbow or golfer's elbow. We will also inform you about how these complaints develop and how to treat them properly.

What is the best ice gel pack for tennis and golfers elbow?

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.

Gelpacks Direct - Ankle Gel Ice Pack for Sport Injury and Reusable Hot & Cold Compress Wrap
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Various zones
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1
  • Suitable for various areas of the body
  • Manual with examples of use
  • Not suitable for microwave use
The Gelpacks Direct Hot and Cold Gel Therapy Elastic Band can be used on the ankle to relieve the pain of Achilles tendonitis and sprains. The therapeutic effects of heat and cold allow for better oxygenation of the muscles and tendon fibres which helps to achieve more effective and faster relaxation. Its design can also be used on the elbow and knee, making it a versatile gel pack.

By simply using the refrigerator and microwave you will achieve the therapeutic temperature necessary for vasodilation. Thanks to this, you will reduce inflammation, relieve pain and eliminate bruising. Don't waste any more time and choose a product that will take care of your health forever, although you should consider that the durability of the materials can be inefficient in some cases.

Magic Gel - Elbow Ice Pack with Professional Wrap for Tendonitis, Bursitis and Arthritis
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Arm, Elbow
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Quality stitching
  • Adjustable velcro strap
  • Long lasting cold therapy
  • Good compression
  • Little flexibility with cold therapy
  • Cold therapy only
The 360° wrap you get with the Magic Gel Ice Wrap will generate professional results to combat tennis elbow symptoms and inflammation in the bursae. Its double adjustable Velcro strap will help you align the joint and restrict harmful movements that can increase the degree of injury. It is ideal for use in summer because its fabric is breathable and does not accumulate moisture.

The structure is designed to increase comfort without losing the level of compression that the elbow needs to stimulate blood circulation. The pad can be placed in the refrigerator and in the microwave to achieve the effects of cryotherapy and heat therapy. Its breathable material is suitable for summer use, but please note that it may cause discomfort for some users due to the build-up of fabric on the back of the elbow.

Dynamik Products - Large reusable gel ice pack for muscle pain relief with strap
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Elbow, Back, Shoulder, Knee
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Flexible when frozen
  • Fully adjustable
  • Heat/cold therapy
  • Quality finish
  • Medium duration cold therapy
  • Delicate wash
Stay healthy with a Dynamik Products hot and cold gel elbow brace. The one-size-fits-all design is suitable for both men and women and can be used to help you recover faster from tennis elbow syndrome, but can also be used to combat joint inflammation and osteoarthritis symptoms. Its velcro fastening creates the perfect compression to stimulate blood circulation and reduce elbow movements for a better rest.

You can combine the effects of complementary temperature treatment with compression therapy, thanks to the elastic strap that easily adjusts to the user's anatomy. All these options will help you to increase your sporting performance without missing out on everyday activities. As you place them in the refrigerator and microwave, the temperature retention capacity is likely to decrease over time.

HypaGel - Hot and cold therapy pack with elastic compression strap
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Arm, Elbow, Leg and Knee
  • Type of adjustment: Velcro strap
  • Cover: Yes
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Adjustable Velcro strap
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Low flexibility with cold therapy
If you need to increase your performance and want to recover faster from an elbow injury, you need to use a HypaGel stabiliser. Thanks to this hot and cold compressive sleeve you can oxygenate your muscles faster and stimulate vasodilation, which will benefit you in relieving pain in less time. It is ideal for reducing tension in tendons and ligaments, so you can use it after going to the gym or when you are in the office.

The gel pack can be chilled in the freezer for 2 hours or heated in the microwave for one minute and applied to the affected area for therapeutic results in the short term. Compression will also help with blood stimulation, but it is important to consider that pain relief may be as you reuse the heating pad.

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.

Medcosa - Large and flexible ice pack for sports injuries and elbow pain
  • Material: Nylon
  • Uses: Various body areas
  • Type of fit: None
  • Cover: No
  • No. of units: 1 Gel Pack
  • Flexible when frozen
  • Large size
  • Not suitable for heat therapy
The quality materials and technology applied in the Medcosa gel cold pack is ideal for golfer's elbow injuries and pulled elbow muscles. Just hold down the pack with your hands and the swelling will disappear from the affected area. It is reusable and flexible, so it easily adapts to the body of both women and men.

After a hard workout or a long time sitting in the office, you can't stop using this sports ice pack to take care of your health. Its use is simple, just place the heating pad in the microwave or refrigerator for the recommended time to achieve the ideal temperature that will help improve blood circulation. It is important to consider that, as it does not have a cover or strap, comfort is often lacking for some patients.

Video: How to use hot and cold gel packs?

Types of hot & cold packs you should know about

What are the causes of elbow pain in tennis players?

Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, and golfer's elbow, also called epitrochleitis, are very similar injuries. They are caused by repetitive overuse damage to the lower end of the humerus. They are caused by frequent and continuous movements that gradually strain or overload the elbow.

  • Lateral epicondylitis affects the extensor muscles of the hand and wrist that attach to the epicondyle and causes pain in the lateral part of the elbow.
  • Epicondylitis affects the flexor muscles of the hand and wrist that attach to the epicondyle. As a result, there is pain in the inner part of the elbow.

In both cases, the pain gradually spreads to the arm or forearm, especially during everyday movements. These include opening a bottle, lifting an object, carrying a shopping bag, etc. If it becomes chronic, it can even prevent sleep.

Tennis elbow often occurs in patients who play racquet sports. They perform stretching and twisting movements of the hand and wrist (especially when backhanding), which can overload the epicondylar muscles. In contrast, epicondylitis is common in golfers. If they swing incorrectly, they can overload the elbow flexors.

Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow are not limited to tennis and golf players, however. Other sports such as baseball, weightlifting, shot put, javelin throwing and others are also affected. Bricklayers, carpenters, painters, computer users and others can also be affected.

In summary, the main causes of elbow pain in tennis players, golfers and racket athletes are the following:

  • Occupational, sporting or recreational activities that lead to overuse, strain or injury to the epicondyle or epitrochlea.
  • Inability to use proper technique in sports such as tennis, golf, baseball and other racquet sports.
  • Lifting weights or using sports equipment that is not adapted to the athlete's level.
  • Poor posture during sports or work, e.g. using a computer, especially a laptop.
  • Lack of warming up and stretching during sport and physical activity.
  • Straining of soft tissue at or near the elbow caused by an abnormality (e.g. legs of different lengths) or misalignment of bones or joints.
  • Diseases or conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, psoriasis, thyroid, etc.
  • Frequent and repetitive movements due to excessive use of mobile phones.
  • Other causes are infections, stress and insomnia.

Which is more effective in relieving elbow pain: cold or heat?

Once a patient has been diagnosed with tennis or golfer's elbow, treatment may vary depending on the severity of the injury. It is therefore important to consult a specialised doctor or physiotherapist who will recommend appropriate and timely treatment depending on the nature of the injury.

In any case, it is very important to identify the cause of the problem and avoid it if possible. However, it is not enough to refrain from the activity that caused the condition, but certain measures must be taken. Usually, these injuries are treated by applying a strap to the forearm, just below the elbow. This can reduce the traction on the epicondyle or epitrochlea. This reduces the swelling and pain associated with the injury.

Physiotherapists also use massage or techniques such as electrotherapy, shock waves and infiltration. Self-massage and stretching can also bedone at home. Many physiotherapists also recommend heat and cold therapy to treat lateral epicondylitis and epitrochleitis. An excellent option is the use of hot and cold gel packs.

Below I will explain the main benefits of high and low temperatures in the treatment of tennis elbow or golfer's elbow:

Advantages of cold

In sports, it is very common to use cold for therapeutic purposes (cryotherapy). In fact, the use of low temperatures for injuries such as tennis elbow or golfer's elbow has the following advantages:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Cold helps reduce inflammation caused by lateral epicondylitis and epitrochleitis. This is because low temperatures cause vasoactive substances to decrease. This reduces the body's inflammatory response and reduces swelling.
  • Pain relief: The application of cold relieves the pain associated with tennis elbow or golfer's elbow. This is because low temperatures interrupt the transmission of nerve impulses associated with the sensation of pain.
  • Vasoconstriction: Cold causes the blood vessels to constrict. This reduces blood flow, which helps to reduce bruising and bleeding.

Advantages of heat

The use of heat for therapeutic purposes (thermotherapy) is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used techniques for treating various musculoskeletal injuries. This applies to tennis elbow or golfer's elbow, which can be treated by applying high temperatures. This results in the following advantages:

  • Vasodilatation: Heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to flow to the treated area. This nourishes the tissues and promotes the elimination of toxins.
  • Rapid recovery: The increased blood flow facilitates the healing of damaged tissue.
  • Pain-relieving and relaxing effect: The application of heat relieves pain and muscle tension. This is largely due to the vasodilation caused by the high temperatures.
  • Reduces joint stiffness: The heat causes a noticeable change in the physical state of the fibrous and elastic tissues. At high temperatures, they can stretch more easily, which reduces the stiffness of the joints.

How can hot & cold gel packs be used to relieve inflammation of the elbow?

Hot and cold gel packs are very useful in treating tennis elbow or golfer's elbow. These gel packs can reach high and low temperatures and maintain them for a long time, making them ideal for hot and cold therapy.

Use of cold

The use of cold is indicated for lateral epicondylitis when the injury is in its early stages. That is, in the first 48 hours, when the pain is intense but short-lived.

If you want to know how to properly apply gel-filled heat/cold packs to relieve elbow inflammation due to lateral epicondylitis, follow these recommendations:

  1. Place the pack in the freezer for about 2 hours.
  2. Take the pack out and check the temperature.
  3. If necessary, freeze a little longer. However, if it is too cold, you can let it warm up a little in the fresh air.
  4. Place the cold gel pack on the elbow area for 20 minutes.
  5. Repeat this session 3 or 4 times a day at one hour intervals.
  6. Be sure to observe the wound every 5 minutes while the cold is in contact with the skin to prevent damage.
  7. With our cold gel packs, you do not need to apply cloths or towels to avoid direct contact with the skin as they have a protective cover.

Use of heat

Heat is indicated after the first 48 hours, especially for long-lasting chronic pain. The application of our gel heat packs is very simple. Just follow the recommendations below:

  • To put the hot/cold gel pack in the microwave, it must be at room temperature. Simply place it in the 800 W microwave for about 30 seconds. If your microwave has a different power setting, you will have to try several times until you find the right time.
  • Remove the thermal gel pack and massage it to distribute the heat evenly.
  • Check that it has reached the desired temperature. If you need to heat it further, microwave it in 10-second increments until it reaches the ideal temperature.
  • To heat the cooker, put 3.5 litres of water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, turn off the cooker and place the gel pack in the pot for 7-8 minutes. Carefully remove the pack and check the temperature. If you want to heat it further, dip the gel pack into the water at one-minute intervals until it reaches a temperature that does not cause burning.
  • Place the gel pack on the elbow area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Do this 3-4 times a day.

The best hot and cold gel packs for pain relief

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