Knees seem to be problem areas for just about anyone.
Whether you’re a casual athlete, a professional one, or you just do a lot of walking or lifting throughout the day, you may end up needing to ice your knees at the end of a long shift.
The best ice packs for your knees are ones that will stay in place if you need to move and deliver an isolated cold kick to the trouble area.
There are hundreds of different ice packs for knees on the market and there are hundreds more that can be utilized in a pinch.
If you have chronic issues with your knees that need wrapping and ice, finding an ice pack that’s designed to work with your knees is essential.
Caring for your knees is caring for your overall health and wellness!
Neglecting pain in your joints or just brushing it off as a tough workout is a recipe for disaster. By addressing the problem early, you save yourself pain and keep your knees in a healthy and pain-free place.
Simple steps can keep you from needing knee replacements or just skipping out on your favorite activities because of pain.
Using wraps and ice are excellent, all-natural ways to help deal with pain and stiffness. Instead of turning to medication and over-the-counter drugs, wrapping and icing your knees gives you pain relief without the major chance of side effects.
By choosing an ice pack that works best for your knees, you’ll be back at all of your favorite activities in no time!
We’re here to help you with your search by going through some of the best ice packs for knees on the market.
How to Wrap a Knee
Knees work hard!
They do a lot of moving and stretching throughout the day and supporting them by using compression wrap and ice packs is an excellent way to keep them fit and healthy.
Instead of heading to the doctor for an expensive test and knee brace, picking up some cheap rolls of compression tape can help you support your knees and joint health without the huge price tag.
You’ll be able to support and alleviate pain in your knees with just a few simple techniques and some compression tape.
Wrapping your knees helps to reduce or prevent swelling.
If you’ve experienced a knee injury or you think you may have a current one, compression wraps will keep fluid from accumulating and causing your knees to swell.
Taking the time to wrap and ice your knees will also help to keep them supported! Whether you’ve just had surgery, an injury, or a tough workout, wrapping your knees will allow you to move without putting more pressure on the joint.
By wrapping up your knees you also lower your risk for further injuries or new injuries occurring. When you decide to engage in anything active, and you wrap up your knees, you’re giving them the support necessary as well as keeping them stable enough to prevent tears, sprains, or strains.
How-to Wrap Your Knees
Start by prepping your compression wrap. Choose a brand that you like and can rely on. Dozens of different varieties make it easy to wrap up your knee.
Get them out and lay them where they’re easy to reach along with any scissors or extra tape you’ll need to get the job done.
Elevate your leg slightly and keep it in a natural position with your knees bent slightly.
By keeping a simple bend in the knee joint you’ll be able to move freely and naturally after you wrap yourself up.
Start wrapping with your compression tape or bandages in a roll. This makes it easier to apply the wrap and keeps the tape from getting tangled as you go.
Roll the wrap over your knees until it meets with the beginning loose end. Cover the loose end and pull slightly to ensure that the wrap is secure.
With the first loose end secure, you can focus on wrapping up your knee cap two inches above and below the joint. These are the key areas that will need more support during any movement or exercise.
As the first loose end is secure you can wrap below your knee joint. After wrapping around the leg, pull the wrap to make sure that it stays secure.
Roll the wrap around the knee, covering the area around the knee joint pulling slightly as you go to make sure it stays in place. Wrap up the knee cap next but avoid tightening up the bandage as it may put too much pressure on the knee joint.
Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire area of your knee.
Now that your knee is covered and secure you can tuck away the last loose end. The entire wrap should feel snug but not too tight.
A snug wrap will improve blood flow but a tight one will restrict it. Secure the loose end of the bandage with Velcro, a metal fastener, or just tuck it away within the roll.
Wrapping up your knee with just a bandage or compression wrap is a great way to get support and increase blood flow to the joint.
By adding an ice pack to your wrap, you’ll help your body recover from exercise or injury even more quickly!
How to Best Prevent Knee Pain
Catching and stopping your knee pain after an accident or injury is one thing but preventing it in the future is another!
There are a few things you can do to help reduce your chances of knee pain and injury in the future.
The first thing you want to do is check your posture before you begin exercising. No matter how heavy you’re lifting or how far you’re planning to run, the best thing you can do is develop proper technique and posture.
This keeps the pressure off of your knees and other joints as you workout to your heart’s content!
Your knees are a center point when it comes to the way your body functions. Losing some extra weight is a great way to take the pressure off your knees.
This can be hard to achieve if you’re already having trouble walking or running. Switch to exercises that are less likely to stress your knees like swimming and work hard to shed those extra pounds to keep your joints healthy.
As you’re choosing to work out, focus on your legs! By working the muscles around your knees, you’ll keep them safe and free from damage.
Weak muscles in your legs put extra pressure and stress on your knees to finish the job. Strengthening your legs gives the knee joints more support and you’ll keep the pressure off.
Lastly, let your legs and knees rest. Stretch and condition your legs and knees so the constant pressure on your knees won’t eventually cause them to break.
If you overuse your knee joints, you’ll inevitably end up with soreness and strain within the knee itself.
Most Common Knee Injuries
You can injure your knee in almost any way but there are a few injuries that tend to happen regularly for many people.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or you walk a lot, you may experience any one of these injuries and need the use of a knee ice wrap!
Meniscus tears are the most common type of knee injury and occur when the cartilage between your thigh bone and shin rips.
Suddenly twisting or pivoting can cause this to tear and cause extreme pain. It most often happens to anyone who has osteoarthritis or athletes who play football or soccer.
Ligament tears are caused when you suddenly change direction while walking or running or if you land wrong when you jump.
These tears within the ligaments happen often for people who play basketball or other rough and tumble sports. To heal these tears requires surgery and can be majorly painful and debilitating.
Dislocations or fractures are caused by major impact or trauma like car accidents or significant falls.
If you have issues with your bones regardless, you might be susceptible to this kind of knee fracture and it may have only minimal impact.
Icing these smaller injuries can help reduce inflammation and pain but you’ll need to see a doctor to completely fix the issue.
Best Knee Ice Wrap
If you’ve experienced knee pain in the past, you’ve most likely taken an ice pack from the freezer and awkwardly balanced on your knee.
The ice may have helped relieve the pain and inflammation to some degree but it probably wasn’t very effective in the long run.
Wrapping your knee is one thing and icing your knee is another. When you combine them you get the best of both worlds!
At some point, you’ve probably created your ice pack wrap with a dish towel or compression tape. It probably didn’t last long and wasn’t very easy to move around.
The best knee ice wraps allow you to compress your knee and give it excellent support while also comfortably holding the ice against sore or inflamed areas.
These wraps are efficient and targeted and they don’t require you to create your wrap to get the desired effect. We’ve gathered together some of the best knee ice wraps on the market so you can get back to your schedule in no time!
Why sit at a therapy center for your knee when you can take it on the go!
Ice Legs Cold Therapy was designed to be an alternative to sitting at a therapy center, delivering all the necessary care and protection without the time-out to your day.
Each package comes with reusable ice packs that are durable and won’t wear out over time. The included sleeve has special pockets designed to fit these ice packs and keep them close to your skin without touching it and causing more issues. There are two sleeves included in each package along with six ice packs.
Since the wraps are larger and have plenty of room for more ice packs, they do an effective job of covering the entire area of the knee and the surrounding leg.
It’s very portable and makes it easy to travel and move with the therapy pack.
All of the ice packs are reusable and durable so you can be sure that your ice therapy wrap will last a long time!
- Reusable and durable ice packs included
- The large coverage area for the entire knee
- Portable design
- Easy to wrap knee
- Large coverage may be too much when only the knee is affected
Large 13x21.5” Ice Pack for Back, Knee, Legs, and Shoulders – Cold Ice Gel Pack Reduces Pain and Swelling from Injury and Surgery – Blue Cold Compress Pack
Sometimes you want to wrap and ice a part of your body besides your knee. This ice pack has you covered!
The built-in strap adjusts to fit any area of your body that needs some compression and ice. A highly durable closer keeps the strap in place and allows the ice pack to stay on your knee, abdomen, shoulder, or leg the entire time.
The entire ice pack has a large coverage area so you can use it anywhere you need without feeling like you have to move it around. The gel within the ice pack is reusable so you can keep using this ice pack every time you need a little boost.
While the intense level of cooling may work well when you’re in pain, the thin insulation surrounding the ice pack can prove to be too much when in contact with your skin.
If you’re using this in conjunction with another simple wrap on your knee you can reap all of the benefits without worrying about your skin coming in contact with intense cold.
- The strap can be adjusted and customized to your perfect fit
- The large design allows for coverage over the entire knee
- Can be used on other problem areas of the body as well
- Pack is reusable
- A thin layer of insulation may put skin in direct contact with cold
Reusable Compression Best for Meniscus Tear, Injury Recovery, Bursitis Pain Recovery, Sprains, Swelling and Rheumatoid Arthritis (Knee Ice Pack).
The natural stiffness you’re experiencing can be compounded when you add an ice pack and find you can’t bend or move at all!
Using the Coldest Knee Ice Pack Wrap allows you to stretch and flex with the materials so you can keep on with your day.
This wrap has a built-in ice pack and both the wrap and ice pack are reusable and made of durable, flexible materials. You’ll be able to ice and wrap your knee but continue with your day.
The ice pack molds to the shape of your knee and the size can be easily adjusted to fit your body.
Unique webbing technology allows for cold transfer to happen toward the knee faster than other brands or designs.
The flexible material easily covers the entire area and can focus the temperature to control and reduce swelling.
This is an ideal wrap for injuries and sprains and can be concentrated to the trouble area. The wrap only comes in one size though, making it hard to move between trouble spots on your body if needed.
- Fits around the knee
- Focuses to reduce swelling making it ideal for sprains and injuries
- Webbing technology allows for the quick cold transfer
- Limited coverage
- Only comes in one size
Cold Therapy With Adjustable Compression Support for Joint Pain, Injuries, Bursitis Pain Relief, Knee Surgery, Arthritis, Meniscus Tear, ACL, Sprains & Swelling
It’s bound to happen sooner or later: you’re ready to use your ice pack or wrap only to find that the ice pack is warm and not going to do you much good!
With the PhysioNatural Knee Ice Pack Wrap, there are two ice packs so one can always be kept cold for immediate use.
The ice pack wrap is centered around a sleeve where the ice pack is inserted when you’re ready to use the whole thing.
The wrap is then held in place by a Velcro strip which keeps things secure around your knee. As the Velcro strip is simple to use and close, you can quickly wrap up your knee in seconds and be feeling better fast.
To keep your skin safe from the cold, extra padding is included in the ice pack which keeps the pack colder longer and keeps it from burning your skin.
Overall, there are only a few size adjustments available so the wrap may not fit everyone. While there are two ice packs there’s only one wrap included as well so you’ll only be able to wrap one knee at a time with this method.
- Two ice packs included in the set
- Easy to close and tighten
- Compression support around the knee
- Ice pack fits into the sleeve in a special pocket
- The wrap is padded to keep the ice pack off of direct contact with the skin
- The wrap may be too tight for some
- Only includes one wrap with the kit
Cold / Hot Gel Compression Brace - Heat Support Strap For Arthritis Pain, Tendonitis, ACL, Athletic Injury, Osteoarthritis, Women, Men, Running, Meniscus and Patella Surgery.
Sometimes your knee just needs a little extra stability!
The Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap offers added stability through Velcro strips and hooks and loops closures. One of the three included ice packs can easily slide into the wrap pockets and fastened into place for a stable, comfortable experience.
All of the material is a durable neoprene that works for both hot and cold therapies. The durability of the material also allows it to more easily flex around the knee and fasten securely in place.
The ice packs are slid into the pockets which are located in easily accessible locations around the outside of the wraps.
Hook and loop closures make the entire wrap easy to put on, adjust, and take off when the time is right. The ice pack gel is non-toxic and the ice packs are reusable.
The padding around the ice packs can end up being a bit thicker which reduces the way the cold is transferred from the ice pack to your knee.
The wrap covers a wide area of the body but with the thicker padding, you may feel less of an impact no matter how long you wear it.
- A durable material used in the design
- Hook and loop closures plus Velcro for a stable fit
- Use with both hot and cold therapies
- Ice packs are non-toxic and reusable
- Thicker padding reduces the cold transfer
Soft Reusable Cold/Hot Compress, Provides Alleviate Joint and Muscle Pain. Flexible Therapy from Injuries - Shoulder, Back, Knee, Neck, Ankle & More.
Targeting too large of an area on your knee can be an issue when you’re trying to wrap and ice your joints. With the Winluck Gel Ice Cold Packs, you can provide your knees with targeted cold therapy without chilling your whole body in the process!
Each package contains two gel packs that are attached to flexible elastic straps.
The straps have a Velcro strip so they can be fitted securely anywhere you need to keep them.
Since each ice pack is small, you’ll be able to accurately target the areas that are experiencing swelling, pain, or other issues.
The flexible ice pack design allows for it to be used anywhere on the body instead of just the knees.
Straps give you a secure fit no matter where you choose to use it. While it does provide targeted relief, the extra small size can make it hard to treat the entire area effectively.
They also don’t have any padding around the ice pack to keep the ice off your skin.
- Multipurpose and can be used for more than just your knees
- Two ice packs included
- Flexible design
- Straps provide a secure and comfortable fit
- Only covers a very small area
- No padding to keep ice off of the skin
How Long to Ice Your Knees
If you’ve experienced an injury, you’ll want to be sure to ice your knee quickly to keep the swelling down.
Most experts recommend that you apply an ice or cold pack for 10-20 minutes 3 or more times each day.
This keeps the swelling down and helps to relieve pain.
Once you’ve kept the swelling down, you can turn to a hot pack and apply heat to the area to help alleviate the pain. If the swelling and pain in your knee don’t go down within a few days, consult your doctor to be sure more damage hasn’t been done.
Using a padded wrap like the PhysioNatural Knee Ice Pack Wrap allows the cold to transfer to your knee without putting the ice directly on your skin.
If you haven’t gotten around to purchasing a gel pack wrap like the ones on our list, you can use a regular ice pack from your freezer and wrap it up with a towel or dishcloth to keep it off your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dealing with knee injuries or joint stiffness and pain is a drain on your financial well-being and your emotional health as well as a determent to your physical health.
But before you invest in a wrap or ice pack, you’ll want to be sure you have your critical questions answered!
Why use Cold Therapy Knee Wraps?
A knee wrap is extremely effective when dealing with knee pain!
They can be securely fastened and held in place using Velcro or other techniques and can be customized and fitted to each person without needing to be concerned about sizing.
Ice packs can be placed within the wrap to transfer the cold to the targeted place on your joint or body.
While some wraps offer extremely targeted cold therapy, others give more extended coverage. You’ll be able to ice and feel relief in your legs and knees at the same time. Wraps also allow you to move around without fear of the ice pack falling or becoming dislodged as you go about your daily life.
Are Ice Packs Good for Knee Pain?
Before starting an ice pack for knee pain regimen, you need to take into consideration the extent of your pain.
Ice packs work well for mild to moderate knee pain and swelling. If your pain is more than moderate, you may need other types of intervention!
Most people will see and feel reduced amounts of pain when they begin using an ice pack on their knee or knees.
After knee surgery, ice packs are recommended to keep swelling down and reduce pain. By keeping inflammation to a minimum with ice packs, you’re more easily able to improve on your pain symptoms overall.
Can I Ice my Knee for a Long Time?
Ice packs are recommended for short bursts of time rather than hours on end.
This improves their efficacy as well as keeps your skin and joints healthy and happy. Prolong and extended contact between the ice pack and your skin is a recipe for burns or stiffened joints.
Ice packs are recommended to be applied for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
You can remove the ice pack after this amount of time and then reapply it later on in the day. The consensus is that you should use them for 10-20 minutes, 3 times a day to get the best benefits.
Can Icing my Knee make it Worse?
Icing your knee or cold therapy is extremely effective in combating pain and inflammation in a specified area.
While the benefits are ample, there are a few side effects that can happen if you ice your knee too long.
Pain and inflammation are never worsened when using cold therapy.
If you use your ice pack longer than recommended, you may start to notice some more stiffness and tightness within the joint. This tightness won’t last long but it can become annoying if you’re trying to continue with your day.
Directly putting an ice pack on your skin can cause major burns or skin issues. While the pain within your knee may be better, you can damage and harm your skin when you choose to put the ice pack directly on the skin.
Utilizing a knee ice pack wrap can help reduce this risk and keep your skin safe and the targeted cold therapy working the way it needs to be working.
Is Heat or Cold Better for Knee Pain?
Trainers and medical professionals talk a lot about ice and cold therapy for knee and joint pain but in some instances, heat can prove to be just as effective.
Both are recommended for painful knees and joints and alternating between hot or cold can provide you with significant and noticeable results.
Both heat and cold therapies help with different symptoms when you’re dealing with a knee injury. The heat helps to relieve stiffness within the knee joint while cold therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Using heat on an inflamed knee can add to the inflammation while using cold therapy on an already stiff knee will make it stiffer over time.
The best practice is to go back and forth when using heat and cold therapies. Both have their place and will help with pain, inflammation, and stiffness in your knee or other joints!
Dealing with a knee injury, overuse, or knee surgery can be painful and aggravating. But turning to heavy medications and other means of relieving pain can lead you down a dangerous path.
Opting for all-natural remedies and exterior help is a great way to keep your knees and joints healthy and working the way they should.
Whether you’ve tweaked your knee at work or you’ve had a major injury while playing sports, icing your knees is an excellent way to help reduce pain and inflammation!
Opting for a cold therapy ice wrap gives you stability and applies directed treatment right to the trouble area.
Instead of spending all of your time laid up on the couch or in a chair with an ice pack carefully balanced on your knee, you can move freely around your house and continue with your day.
Investing in a cold therapy wrap is an excellent way to keep your body healthy and working without having to rely on heavy medications.
You’ll be able to experience better movement, less pain, and reduced inflammation in just a few 20-minute sessions each day without breaking the bank!
Upgrade from your DIY ice pack wrap to a quality one from our list that can help you be at your best in no time.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost