Ice Knee Wraps

Written by Devin Flanigan
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The knee is among the most commonly injured joints in the body (little surprise given the weight and movement demands we place on it). People who complain about "trick knees" and "bad knees" are actually speaking about any of a variety of sprains, bruises, and cartilage deterioration-related maladies. An ice knee wrap is a panacea for all of the above-mentioned conditions and many more.

Wrapping a knee the traditional way involves spiraling an elastic bandage around the joint, starting below the knee and ending on the lower thigh. After a protective layer or two of the bandage is applied to the skin, an ice bag is balanced around the injury and covered and held in place by the bandage. The leg should then be elevated above the level of the heart and the ice knee wrap should be kept on for no longer than 20 minutes.

Ice, Ice Maybe?

Superior to the traditional bag of ice, however, is the modern cold compression brace that features a reusable liquid gel center that freezes to provide the recommended 20 minutes of cold therapy. These braces are lightweight, sturdy and compact, and can be placed directly in the freezer to prepare for cold therapy. The neoprene and linen insulation layers protect the skin from direct exposure to the frozen liquid.

These new ice knee wraps conform to the joint and don't require application by an athletic trainer or incessant clock-watching. Used without freezing, these braces are great knee stabilizers that can be worn during activity to help prevent re-injury. Though the initial cost is higher than a bag of ice, these knee wraps have a long lifespan and more than pay for themselves over time.

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