Ankle Ice Packs v Cold Compression Bandages For Treating Ankle Pain and Inflammation

Ankle Ice Packs v Cold Compression Bandages For Treating Ankle Pain and Inflammation

One of the most common causes of ankle pain is inflammation from either injury or chronic conditions (1). Do you want to know the best treatment for reducing ankle pain and inflammation? Then you are in the right place. We have a clinically proven solution that doesn’t involve ice packs.

What is the best treatment for ankle inflammation?

If you have tried to significantly reduce ankle pain and inflammation, you may have used homemade ice packs, store-bought gel packs, or even bags of frozen peas. Each of these solutions applies freezing temperature to the skin with the hope of reducing inflammation deep within the ankle joint. Clinically proven Physicool Cold Compression Bandages are a better alternative, and we’re going to tell you why.

Understanding Ankle Inflammation

It’s always essential to understand the basics to choose the best solution for you. Ankle inflammation is a result of either injury or disease.

When you roll your ankle or sustain an athletic injury, it creates damage within the ankle joint. The severity of these injuries can range from minimal ligament tearing to broken bones. Even minimal tearing can cause significant pain and swelling.

Injury isn’t the only cause of ankle pain. Many chronic disease states can lead to ankle pain and swelling, including osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, and rheumatoid arthritis (2).

In addition to seeking medical care when necessary, you will be responsible for nursing your ankle at home.

Conventional wisdom has taught us to RICE the injury: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate (3). Recommendations for chronic ankle pain include ice, anti-inflammatory medication, creams, rest, and more (1).

Presumed Effects of Cold on Pain and Inflammation

Cold therapies, which include ice and frozen gel packs, can minimize pain by having a numbing effect on the nerves in an affected area. They reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels, preventing the major players that cause inflammation from reaching the site as quickly (3).

Once the cold pack is removed, the numbing effect ceases, and the blood vessels dilate to their normal diameter. This may be useful in the beginning stages of injury healing to prevent significant swelling and minimize pain.

Is RICE Therapy Proven to Be Effective?

It is important to note that conventional wisdom is not always as helpful as we may think. Researchers set out to determine whether RICE therapy does what it is claimed to do.

One group of researchers collected as many studies as they could find and performed a meta-analysis to answer this question. After developing the criteria, 11 studies and 868 patients were reviewed (3).

Their research found insufficient evidence that RICE therapy is a reliable or effective therapy for acute ankle injuries in adults. They determined that individualized treatment plans should be used for the best outcomes. So, where does this leave us?

Dangers of Ice/Cold Packs

The benefits of cold therapies such as ice and gel packs are short-lived and come with risks. Improper use of these packs can cause further injury to an already damaged area (4).


Placing ice packs directly on the skin causes faster numbing, but this can be dangerous. Leaving an ice pack on the skin too long can cause ice burns or, worse, frostbite (4).


Ice packs do reduce swelling by constricting blood flow to the injured area. However, if left for too long, the skin temperature will drop below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The body will respond by dilating the blood vessels and pumping more blood to the area. This is a helpful response in harsh weather conditions but counterproductive and dangerous when treating your injury at home.

Increased Blood Pressure

If you already have high blood pressure, using ice packs regularly is not recommended. Ice constricts blood vessels, raising blood pressure temporarily. If you already have high blood pressure, this could potentially raise it to dangerous levels.

With these potential risks in mind, what alternative is there?

Clinically Proven Alternative

We understand that ankle pain and inflammation limit us in our day-to-day activities. This is why we set out to develop a therapy that is beneficial without all of the downsides.

Our Cold Compression Bandages work by removing heat from the body rather than placing cold directly on the site. Our bandages never need refrigeration and are reusable and machine washable.

Because there is no risk of skin injury, the Physicool bandages can be worn for up to an hour and used 2-4 times per day. Providing compression stabilizes the joint and prevents swelling (5).

How Does Physicool Work?

Physicool works by rapid evaporation, which draws heat out of an injury. The bandages are presoaked in the coolant that provides all the benefits of a cooling aid without any need for refrigeration.

Because the coolant is soaked into the bandage, cooling and compression are easily combined in one step. This eliminates errors in usage that would have caused skin damage with conventional ice therapy.

Each bandage has a Velcro strap to secure it in place without creating any pressure points, ensuring even, comfortable compression.

Once you use the pre-soaked bandage, use the provided coolant solution to recharge it for the next use.

Physicool is clinically proven to be effective in treating sprain and strain injuries and chronic inflammatory diseases, including tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Combining Physicool bandages with physical therapy (including stretching, strengthening, and massage techniques) will help optimise conditions for healing, and decrease pain (5).

Get Back Out There Fast

We know you want to get back to doing what you love as quickly as possible. Physicool will help you get back on your feet in less time, with less pain and less swelling than conventional RICE therapy.

Clinically proven to aid in healing(5), Physicool is the best alternative to ankle ice packs, gel packs, and frozen peas, to help reduce pain and inflammation from ankle injury or chronic problems such as tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.


1. NHS - All about foot and ankle problems:

2. Mayo Clinic, Ankle Pain, Causes:

3. Van den Bekerom MP, Struijs PA, Blankevoort L, Welling L, van Dijk CN, Kerkhoffs GM. What is the evidence for rest, ice, compression, and elevation therapy in the treatment of ankle sprains in adults? J Athl Train. 2012;47(4):435-443. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-47.4.14:

4. Nizamoglu, M., Tan, A., Vickers, T. et al. Cold burn injuries in the UK: the 11-year experience of a tertiary burns centre. Burn Trauma 4, 36 (2016).

5. Mumith A, Pavlou P, Barrett M, Thurston B, Garrett S. Enhancing Postoperative Rehabilitation Following Knee Arthroplasty Using a New Cryotherapy Product: A Prospective Study. Geriatr Orthop Surg Rehabil. 2015;6(4):316-321. doi:10.1177/2151458515609722:

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