If you are looking for the best ice packs for knees, you will first need to know what kind of injury you have. You will also need to understand the extent of the damage.

Ice packs for knees after surgery are different than general wraps for knee pain. When I went looking for an ice pack wrap for my knees, I knew I would need to find one to fit my active lifestyle.

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What is the best way to ice a knee?

The best way to ice your knee will depend on your injury. If you have recently had knee surgery talk with your doctor to learn how an ice wrap will help you recover. To get the fastest recovery, you should do the following:

1.  Apply Ice.

Putting ice on an injured knee will help you almost immediately.  Icing your knee helps to reduce any swelling and prevent inflammation. The ice should NEVER be applied directly to the injured knee. Wrap your bag of ice or cold pack in a paper towel or regular towel before applying on your knee.

2.  Move the Ice Around. 

The ice should never be left in one place on an injury. Return the ice frequently to the injured area in an ice massage. Passing the ice repeatedly over the injured area works gradually to reduce any discomfort without damaging any of the tissues around your knee.

3.  Elevate.

Elevating your knee above your heart can reduce some of the swelling and pressure.  It will also encourage red blood cells to start the process of healing.

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How long should I ice my knee?

You should ice your knee for up to twenty minutes. You can damage the tissues around your knee or even give yourself frostbite if you ice your knee to long. Moving the ice pack around can help ensure your skin tissues will heal without added damage.

Rotating ice packs and periods of icing can help bring down swelling and inflammation gradually. Allowing time between icing can help the area to warm and encourage your knee to start healing. Repeatedly icing your knee can give your knee plenty of time to start healing.

Repeat icing will help reduce the sensitivity of the knee, and you should consistently ice it for at least forty-eight hours after injury to reduce the swelling. Any wrap you use to hold the ice on the injury should fit your knee securely while allowing air and blood to flow.

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Is ice or heat better for sore knees?

Knee ice packs after surgery are a good way to increase blood flow to the damaged area. A good ice wrap will allow you to be hands-free while targeting the affected area.

Apply heat through a heating pad or a warm bath can be beneficial when you are preparing for activities. Heat increases blood flow around your knee while also  having a healing effect to help relax the muscles and joints as they prepare to move.

Like ice, you should not keep heat on your knees for an extended period of time. Practice caution to avoid burning yourself. Use a heating pad for no more than twenty minutes before letting your knee breathe. If you are using a hot water bottle, use warm water, not boiling water.

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How do you keep an ice pack on your knee?

There are different ways to keep an ice pack on your knee. The key is to not leave them on for an extended period. You can give yourself frostbite or damage the underlying tissue.

1.  You can buy a special knee brace with an ice pack attached. The knee pack with an attached elastic band will fit easily in most freezers or come with interchangeable gel ice packs.

2.  You can use a regular elastic bandage to secure an ice pack to your knee. But remember to move around frequently to keep it off of one area. Using a bag of ice can also leak water, so it may be messy while you use it.

3.  You can tape an ice pack to your knee. However this may not be the best way to keep an ice pack on your knee as moisture will affect the tape. 

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What to consider when selecting an ice pack?

When you are looking to buy an ice pack for your knee, you will need to select the type of brace and ice pack for the type of injury you have. There are specially designed braces for almost every type of injury. Buying the right option will make a huge difference in how well your knee injury heals.

Here are a few options:

1.  Ice Pack or Compression Wrap.

An ice pack or specially designed ice pack wrap works best to hold an ice pack in place. They can stay cold longer and will mold or form better around the injured knee. 

2.  Frozen Package of Vegetables

A bag of frozen vegetables, while not the best option, will work for a small injury that requires immediate attention. You can rotate bags in and out of your freezer and hold them in place.

3.  Instant Ice Pack

These are a terrific option if you are out hiking or biking. They only require a squeeze to activate and are perfect for backpacking trips or accidents while hiking.

4.  Cryo Cuff

It is something to have if you are an athlete or if you have just had knee surgery. They are a lot like a bandage with an ice pack inside, but they cover a wider area. Athletes who damage their knees during football or on track & field favor them as they wrap your knee and a good portion of the areas around it in an icy cool manner.

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What are some of the Best Knee Ice Packs?

Some of the best ice packs available will help hold your knee while it cools and helps it heal. We've researched the best ice packs to use.  A good one should fit your knee while providing support as well as cold therapy relief.

Here are our top 7 ice packs to consider using for your knee:

1.  Ice Pack for Knee by Bodyprox

The Ice Pack for Knee by Bodyprox comes with a removable gel pack that is microwave and freezer safe. The ice pack is also a hot pack to help with sports injuries, muscle pains, sprains, and swelling. The ice pack can also provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis, runner's knee, and meniscus tears.


  

Pros
-The ice pack is a reusable gel pack.
- Safe for microwaves and freezers.
-The design has adjustable straps to fit your knee.

Cons
Not ideal for larger knees.

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2.  Ice Packs for Injuries & Wrap by ColePak Comfort 

These are multi-use and multi-function ice packs. They provide soothing relief for swelling, knee pain, surgery recovery, inflammation, and other injuries.

Pros
- Can use as a hot and cold pack.
- Has an adjustable elastic strap for flexibility.
- Perfect for small body parts, such as the knee, ankle, or foot.
- Stays cold longer.

Cons
- Strong velcro may tear the pouch if it becomes stuck to the fabric.
- Velcro may unhook from larger legs. 

 

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3. Reusable Ice Pack for Knee - Cold Therapy Compression Wrap with Air Pump for Pain Relief

The Cold Therapy Compression Wrap is a brace that wraps around your knee with an ice pack to maintain its cool temperature. The ice pack is for knee pain, swelling, sprains, strains, and sport injuries.

reusable ice packs with air pump

Pros
- Is a reusable gel pack.
- Safe for microwaves and freezers.
- The design has adjustable straps to adjust and fit your knee.
- The open knee design helps with airflow.

Cons
-The ice pack design is not ideal for larger knees.

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4. Reusable Knee Ice Pack by ColePak Comfort

The Reusable Knee Ice Pack by ColePak Comfort wraps above and below your injury. The ice pack is good for general knee pain, recovery from knee replacement surgery, meniscus tears, herniated discs, muscle strains, aches tears, and post-surgery ailments.

Pros
- Can use as a hot or cold ice pack.
- Good to use for torn ACL, knee replacements, meniscus tears, and other knee conditions.
- It is a "Hands - free" ice pack.
- Freezes quickly and stays cold longer
- Uses medical-grade gel.

Cons
- Does not fit very large knees.

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5.  Knee Gel Ice Pack Wrap Large Hot Cold Therapy Compress

The Knee Gel Ice Pack Wrap is a hot or cold compression, medical-grade ice pack. The ice pack is FDA registered and works for all sorts of knee injuries with a gel pack that wraps almost 360 degrees around the knee for a full and completely covered knee.

best ice pack 2019

Pros
-Contains medical-grade gel.
- Can be both a hot and cold pack
- Safe for microwaves and freezers.
- Adjustable with an elastic strap.
- Fits most parts of the body, including the knee, elbow, upper/lower back, head, and ankle.
- The ice pack strap has overlapping Velcro.

Cons
- The bag sweats while in use.
- The gel pack may be too large for small people.

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6. The Coldest Knee Ice Pack Wrap

The Coldest Knee Ice Pack Wrap wraps securely around your knee. The Knee Ice Pack helps to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain because of surgery, injury, and muscle fatigue.

coldest ice pack

Pros

- Can be used for athletes recovering from injuries.
- The ice pack uses webbing technology to transfer cold around the knee.
- Flexible to mold around the knee.
- Uses velcro to secure it above and below the knee.

Cons

- The gel in the ice pack is not evenly distributed.
- The gel can leak out of the pack after multiple uses.             -       

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7. Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap

    The Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap contains cooling gel for the front and back of the knee. The ice pack has three adjustable straps that are flexible to fit around your knee while allowing your knee to bend.

    knee ice pack wrap

    Pros

    - Wraps the entire knee, front, and back with cooling gel.
    - The ice pack has three pockets of gel that are reusable, latex-free, and leak proof.
    - The ice pack is a cold and hot therapy pack.
    - Machine washable.

    Cons
    - The gel packs are fragile and may leak though the pouch that holds them.
    - The gel packs can stay cold for up to fifteen minutes.

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    Final Thoughts

    The best ice packs for knees after surgery are a lot like the general injury ice packs. They wrap your knee in cooling gel and help you to calm the irritated area. The best ice pack is one that will help you to recover and heal quickly while being long-lasting. A good ice wrap is one that will fit your knee and allow you to move freely.