The best ice pack for muscle aches or injuries goes a long way for your recovery.
We’ve given you some of the best ice packs for knees and now it’s time to focus on the shoulder.
Whether you are using an ice pack for shoulder soreness or to recover from shoulder surgery, it must be appropriately placed to reduce inflammation.
There are plenty of ice packs to choose between for your cold therapy. That’s where we come in to research for you. It’s time to find pain relief that will work.
How does Cold Therapy Work?
Before we delve into the best ice packs for your shoulders, let’s understand why cold therapy works and when to use it.
When you have an injury or surgery, your body rushes blood to the area to begin the healing process.
While this is great because your body is working to heal, it’s not so great from an inflammation perspective. It can increase pain significantly in the area.
One way to defeat inflammation is through cold therapy via ice packs or a gel pack.
Placing ice on the area that is inflamed reduces blood flow to the area which brings the swelling down.
In turn, that decreases the pain that you feel in that particular muscle or joint.
While we want our bodies to heal, it’s essential to minimize the pain simultaneously. Cold therapy works to do just that, especially after a complicated surgery.
Best Shoulder Ice Packs
Shoulder pain can be the worst because we use our deltoids and rotator cuffs for many everyday activities.
Because our shoulders are vital to our functional fitness, promoting recovery through the right cold therapy is critical. Let’s take a look at some of the best ice packs we found for your shoulder recovery.
The Natracure Universal Cold Wrap is a gel pack with a clay interior that is malleable when frozen and holds cold for a more extended period.
Since it conforms to your body even when frozen, it’s perfect for a shoulder wrap.
Measuring at 5” x 10” with a nylon strap that it fits inside to keep it in place, this gel pack is simple and effective for reducing pain for only $12.99.
- Use this gel pack on any area of the body
- The shoulder wrap fits nicely for cold therapy
- The clay interior allows it to stay cold for 30 minutes.
- It has a velcro strap to keep it in place and applies compression.
- The ice pack is small.
- Depending on which shoulder area you need, it might be hard to wrap for specific injuries.
1 Ice Pack Compress w/ 1 Sleeve - 5" x 10" Pouch, Holder with 24" Nylon Strap and 1 Clay Pack, Reusable for Injuries to Arm, Wrist, Foot, Elbow, Knee, Ankle
- Available with 2 gel packs for a greater money-saving value.
- Includes one cold therapy gel ice pack.
This ice pack is great for your shoulder and neck. The interior gel pack stays cold for a long time to decrease inflammation.
Use the two straps to attach anywhere on the outer layer to wrap it around your body.
While it is thin and flexible, it is made with a double-seam to prevent any leaking.
At 23” x 8” x 5”, this ice pack is excellent for covering more surface area around your neck and shoulders. It’s available for only $24.99.
- Excellent shape for an ice pack that helps neck and shoulder pain
- Reviews rave about how long the ice pack stays cold
- Made with durable materials
- The straps don’t keep the ice pack in place very well.
With Straps (23" X 8" X 5") - Reusable Cold Pack Compress (Therapy for Pain, Injuries of Neck, Lower Back, Shoulder, Wrap Around Knee, Shin, Foot, Calf) - 6301 Cold-Strap.
- Includes ONE 24" strap and ONE 6" strap.
- Soft, flexible Insulating layer enhancing cold therapy.
With 4.5 stars on Amazon, this shoulder wrap is a favorite, especially after shoulder surgery.
It comes in two sizes. The small/medium size works for those with a chest under 40” while the large/x-large size helps those with more significant than 40”.
The shoulder wrap itself is made of neoprene that is soft and flexible. It comes with two reusable gel packs that fit into the wrap for cold therapy treatment.
The ice pack wraps around your body to keep it in place while promoting pain relief. Since it’s available on Amazon for $39.95, you get free shipping too!
- The shoulder wrap is easy to put on by yourself.
- The ice pack covers a large surface area.
- Since the ice pack is flexible even when frozen, you can position it in various ways.
- Can use the ice pack and still be mobile and do things
- Use it for heat therapy too
- Have to put it in water before you can heat it in the microwave.
The ActiveWrap ice pack for shoulder comes in 2 sizes: Small/Medium for chest sizes under 40" and Large/X-Large for chest sizes over 40".
- Fully flexible hot or cold gel packs conforms to shoulder while still allowing natural arm movement.
- ActiveWrap provides the best hot cold therapy support brace for shoulder and rotator cuff therapy.
4. ProSeries Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Ice Pack
The reviews are raving about this cold pack for those who are recovering from rotator cuff surgery.
It fits around your shoulder and can be used with real ice or a gel pack.
Some reviews suggest it helps more because the real ice keeps it colder longer.
It can be adjusted to fit different sizes and offers compression to support the recovery process further.
Available on Amazon for $32.99, the 4.5 stars speak for themselves.
- Use it with real ice for ultimate cold therapy
- Can move around with it on, and it stays in place
- Some reviews suggest this shoulder wrap might not fit larger persons
- Need assistance when putting it on
- Portable and durable for quick and immediate use
- "Total Ice Therapy" - Best Cold Therapy
- Surrounds the shoulder with cold & compression
This ice pack fits over your shoulder and wraps around your chest to keep the cold therapy in place. It comes with a buckle that clips.
Use the Elasto-Gel Shoulder Sleeve for hot or cold therapy for your shoulder.
It stays cold or warm for up to 40 minutes, and durable construction means it won’t leak if punctured.
The material is made of lycra, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods. Buy it on Amazon for $60.55.
- Comfortable fit and material
- The clip buckle is an excellent feature for keeping the cold pack in place.
- There is no availability for smaller sizes.
- While the clip buckle keeps it in place, it makes it harder to adjust.
- Hot or cold therapy will last 20-40 minutes per application
- Will not leak if punctured
- Used in medical clinics worldwide to treat muscle and joint pain
- Comfortable Lycra cover conforms to your body
- Remains flexible and soft at temperatures as low as 20 degrees
Another NatraCure product, this shoulder ice pack, can be worn for pain relief without decreasing mobility.
Use it for heat therapy as well by heating it in the microwave. It fits on both shoulders and features a compression pump to increase blood flow.
The material stretches, and the gel packs fit into it nicely for hot and cold therapy. Purchase it for $21.99 through NatraCure.
- Reuse it and wash it as often as you need
- Fits almost everyone
- It comes with a compression air pump as well as heat and cold therapy gel packs
- Some reviews complain that it is rather bulky.
Reusable Cold Therapy Ice Pack Wrap Sling for Rotator Cuff, Dislocated Shoulder, and Labrum Tear Pain Relief - (730-RET)
- Includes one support and one removable hot/cold gel pack.
- Helps Accelerate Recovery.
Cold Therapy to the Rescue
Whether you are recovering from shoulder surgery or trying to decrease shoulder pain, any of the mentioned products will help with inflammation and bring pain relief.
If you need to make a shoulder ice wrap with your household goods, simply grab a towel, put some ice in a Ziploc bag, and hold it to your shoulder.
There’s no shame in doing a little DIY (do-it-yourself) for your ice packs. That’s how we did it back in the day for shoulder pain.
However, if you want ice packs that stay put while allowing you to be mobile, look to one of the shoulder ice packs we mentioned.
A pain-relieving compression shoulder ice pack might just be your new best friend.
Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.