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January 04, 2023
If you've ever put a bag of frozen peas or traditional ice packs on a sore part of your body, then you've used cold therapy. Also known as cryotherapy, this treatment uses the regenerative powers of coldness to help heal the body. Cold therapy has become a hugely popular form of treatment and recovery, resulting in a large market for related products.
Cold therapy machines combine coldness with compression to heal injured body parts and promote recovery from exercise. They feature a cold-generating mechanism and one or more pads that can be put on different body parts. This article reviews the five best cold therapy machines in the 2023 market. We'll also reveal the science-backed benefits of cold therapy and answer the most commonly asked cold therapy questions.
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The Polar Active Ice 3.0 cold therapy machine ranks as our top performer due to its large water reservoir, inbuilt timer, and portable design. This ice therapy system incorporates quick disconnect couplings with high flow and allows for freedom of movement if necessary. In addition, the quiet, high-efficiency pump delivers consistent and efficient cooling.
This cold therapy device can treat various pains, including those in the knees, shoulders, back, calves, ankles, and elbows. The 30-minute timer with this device assures risk-free therapy; the timer will cycle on and off as long as needed per your set times.
The 16-quart reservoir container is big enough to hold a dozen frozen water bottles. It comes with sturdy wheels and a carry handle for ease of transport. A 9-quart reservoir without wheels is also available.
The high-performance brushless pump is quiet, delivering an extremely efficient, steady cold water therapy treatment.
The Ossur Cold Rush Therapy machine is designed to reduce localized swelling and pain following surgical procedures or trauma. It features a brushless motor that provides a very quiet operation while still delivering consistent, steady performance. Weighing in at just 4.6 lbs, it is highly portable and compact.
The Ossur Cold Rush Therapy machine provides adjustable flow rate settings that provide cold settings for up to six hours. This device has a higher ice-to-water ratio than many competing machines. A cool feature of the machine is a locking lid to prevent water spills. Insulated walls also enhance cooling ability.
Your purchase comes with a knee pad and long, insulated tubing. The ergonomic pads mimic the body's contours to deliver targeted localized treatment. A built-in handle also allows for easy transportation.
The Breg VPulse cold therapy machine is a compression and cold therapy system designed to treat sore knees and shoulders and prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolisms (PE).
The VPulse system was created to meet the demand for a venous thrombosis prophylactic intervention for DVT and PE, which are often combined. DVT is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs, whereas PE is an embolism or blockage of an artery but some obstruction, such as a blood clot.
Following orthopedic surgery, VPulse combines three therapies to aid in full recovery: Pain and inflammation are reduced by motorized cold therapy. In addition, deep vein thrombosis is prevented by calf compression (DVT). Compression is offered by cold treatment devices like the VPulse system to help further reduce swelling and inflammation at the surgical site.
The way VPulse machines work is comparable to a cold therapy machine. The device will deliver compression and a cooling massage to assist in treating DVT symptoms when the system is filled with ice and water. Turn on the machine after placing the leg pads around the calf area. The VPulse device from Breg immediately delivers impulsive calf compression to improve blood circulation in the legs.
The pads that come with the device are intended to fit around the calves. However, you can buy other pads designed for different parts of the body.
The Vive Cold Therapy Machine is made to deliver targeted ice therapy relief for joint discomfort, post-workout recuperation, and post-surgery edema and inflammation. It offers quick relief from aches, pains, and discomfort. It comes with a universal therapy pad to properly target the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and arms.
The insulated tubing on this device is longer than standard, allowing for greater user portability. The therapy pads are also larger and more flexible than many competing products.
Up to 6 liters of ice water can be stored in the reservoir of this therapy equipment. The machine has a clear LED display, five continuous flow rates, and cycle periods of 30 minutes or fewer for a customized experience. This device has an inbuilt carry handle and is small, quiet, and portable. With indicated filling guides for ice and water and a transparent base, filling is easy and fast.
The PowerPlay 360 cold therapy machine is specifically designed for knee therapy and relief. It consists of a high-grade 360 knee wrap, a rechargeable compression pump, a re-freezable contoured gel pack, and an insulated duffle bag. This machine provides cold and compression cryotherapy to help reduce swelling and pain, hasten healing, and improve performance.
The PowerPlay 360 is extremely portable, with the pump weighing just one pound and providing 4-8 hours of continuous battery life. There are three ports for both cold and compression therapy, and it operates with a simple one-touch technology. Intermittent, sequential compression pushes outside to inside to move swelling and edema out of joints and muscles.
Your purchase comes with one gel pack. You can add extra gel packs if you wish. You also get a 12-month warranty with your purchase.
A cold therapy machine is a tool that delivers cold treatment to various parts of the body. It combines cryotherapy with compression to facilitate healing and recovery from exercise. While actual designs may differ, most cold therapy machines have a container that houses ice and water, a hose emanating from the container, and pads that can be placed on the body.
There are a few things to consider before purchasing a cold treatment machine. A machine may be covered by insurance depending on your health insurance plan.
It is important to get an opinion from your doctor or other healthcare providers before beginning cold compression therapy and to adhere to their treatment recommendations. In addition, it's crucial to utilize cold treatment machines as instructed because they stay colder for extended periods.
Cold therapy has been used for thousands of years to heal and rejuvenate the body. But, for most of that time, the reasons why exposure to near-freezing temperatures is good for the body has been a mystery. However, recent research provides scientific backing to the use of cold therapy machines. Here are four key benefits of using cold therapy to help heal the body.
Cold water therapy's primary effect on the body results from its ability to improve blood circulation. The blood supplies the essential oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs of the body that they need to function and heal. One of those organs is the lungs. The more efficiently oxygen is transported to the lungs, the more effective they will be in ridding the body of waste products.
In one study, subjects had one leg submerged in water at a temperature of 59 degrees while the other leg was not submerged. After 30 minutes, the researchers compared the blood circulation between the two legs. The legs that were submerged had significantly greater circulation and oxygen levels than the legs that were kept out of the water.¹
Cryotherapy has the ability to boost the immune system. A stronger immunity produces a greater anti-inflammatory response to injury, reducing swelling and inflammation.²
The enhanced blood flow that comes from cold water therapy also fast-tracks the nutrients and oxygen required by the injured muscle to repair itself.
Cold water therapy's ability to improve lymphatic movement contributes to its recovery ability. The lymphatic system is a vessel network that helps to remove waste from the body. Cold therapy has been shown to enhance lymph flow, making the system more efficient. As a result, the cellular waste material and harmful microbes that may build up around an injury site are removed from the body.³
The ability of cold water therapy to reduce inflammation makes it an effective fighter against muscular pain. It has been shown to reduce both short-term or acute and long-term or chronic pain.
In a 2018 study, cold water therapy was shown to significantly reduce pain in sufferers of foot and ankle sprains, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ankle sprains, and diabetes.
Other studies have shown that the ability of cold water therapy to block nerves that signal pain is another way that this treatment reduces pain.
The combination of cold and hot water therapy has been seen to be potentially more beneficial for pain reduction than cold therapy on its own. Known as contrast water therapy, the switching between hot and cold results in a pumping effect within the blood vessels, causing constriction and expansion. The effect is that more blood, supplying nutrients and oxygen is able to get to the affected area.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) refers to the muscle ache following a resistance workout. Depending on the intensity of the workout, it can last from several hours to a couple of days. Research shows that people who apply cold therapy at a temperature of 59 degrees F or lower can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
In a 2016 study, a group of 20 athletes who soaked in a cold water tub for 10-15 minutes immediately after their workout experienced significantly less muscle soreness than those who did not.⁴
Researchers believe that this reduced muscle soreness after exercise is due to blood vessel constriction that results from the application of cold treatment. This reduces the flow of blood to the affected area, bringing down swelling and inflammation.
For best results in terms of reducing post-workout soreness, researchers recommend that cold therapy be combined with static stretching and active recovery involving mild exercise that is unrelated to your main workout.⁵
Cold therapy machines represent a substantial investment. To make sure that your money is well spent and that you are getting a device that will work for your situation, take note of the following shopper suggestions.
When it comes to the build quality of cold therapy machines, the length and material used for the tubing that connects that machine to the pads is of vital importance. This is the part of the device that will get the most wear. It should be made of some type of heavy-duty plastic or similar material that has been tested against cracking or leaking.
The tube that attaches the pads to the machine should be long enough to allow you to use the device without having to move the machine around.
Cold or ice therapy machines should be compact and lightweight enough to allow for ease of travel. Most machines weigh between two and eight pounds, with motorized devices being the heaviest. Look for a machine that has a carry handle, and that comes with a carry bag to keep everything together when you're on the go.
For ease of portability, you'll also need an ice therapy machine that is easy to set up and dismantle.
You want your cold therapy machine to be as versatile as possible. That means that it should come with pads that can be attached to every area, including your knee, ankle, shoulder, and hip joints. The larger the pads, the greater area of your muscles you'll be able to cover.
An extra feature that will greatly enhance the usability of cold therapy units is the ability to switch between hot and cold therapy. Of course, this will add substantially to the cost.
A noisy device is not going to allow for the relaxing experience that you need for maximum cryotherapy benefit. It's also going to be a potential problem for other people, especially if you are doing your sessions early in the morning. For those reasons, you should look for a machine that advertises the noiselessness of the operation. But don't just rely on the manufacturer's claims; check, too, on user reviews to see what comments there are about how noisy the machine is.
Cold therapy machines may differ in their treatment lengths. You should look for a device that has a timer allowing you to set the length of treatment. However, some machines only allow you to do so in set increments, such as 15 minutes, which may not be convenient for you. If you intend to use the device for longer than 30 minutes, check to make sure that it allows for this length of treatment.
The price of cold therapy machine can cover quite a range, depending on the extra features it contains. You should expect to be able to buy a quality device for between $200-300.
We also recommend checking online reviews from verified purchasers. This will allow you to get real-time feedback on the quality, sturdiness, effective use, and value for money of the device. We also recommend taking note of people's feedback on the customer service provided by the company, especially when the buyer has run into a problem.
The main purpose of a cold therapy machine is to provide cryotherapy treatment to injured areas of the body and to help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise. This is achieved by boosting blood flow, enhancing immunity, and speeding up the removal of waste products from the injury site.
Cold water therapy has been shown to enhance blood flow. This speeds up the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to an area of injury or post-exercise muscle soreness. Cold therapy has also been shown to boost immunity, increase the removal of waste products from the body, and provide mental health and cognitive benefits.
There are, as yet, no research-based guidelines relating to how often cold therapy should be done every week. There are, though, a number of studies that show that four sessions per week appear to provide optimal benefits. Beginners, however, should start with just one or two sessions per week in order to get used to this new form of stress on the body.
Cold therapy affects the nerves that send signals to the brain. They have been shown to blunt pain sensors as well as boost alertness, clarity, focus, and energy levels.⁶
Cold water therapy is an established treatment for muscular pain, as well as being able to help speed up post-workout soreness. A cold water therapy machine will enable you to experience the benefits of this treatment anywhere, anytime. The best cold water therapy machine on the current market is the Polar Active Ice 3.0, featuring a custom programmable timer, the capacity for all-night cooling, and whisper-quiet operation.
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