6 Best Ice Therapy Machines for Muscular Pain

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If you are in need of an ice therapy machine for an injury, be sure to read our reviews to ensure you get the best machine for you.

We spoke to 20 people who have used ice therapy machines in the past year. Our questions were focused on examining their effectiveness, portability, convenience, and build quality.

After getting all the answers, we analysed the results and found that the Ossur Cold Rush Cold Therapy System (import from USA) is the best ice therapy machine. It’s hard to find a motorized ice machine that is as portable and noiseless while losing none of its effectiveness.

But, other ice therapy machines shine in some other areas. Check out the table below and find the best ice therapy machine for you.

Aircast Knee Ice Compression / Cooler Unit Set – 96%


This AIRCAST Knee Ice Compress ice therapy machine has no motor. It works on gravity, which means you hold it higher than your knee for the cold water to reach the desired area, and then lower it so the water can get back to the container and get cooled again. This may sound like a lot of hassle, but it’s actually very light and small, and can provide up to eight hours of cooling.

Its open kneecap design makes it the best cold therapy machine after knee surgery, as it surrounds the joint completely and allows more movement when needed.


  • Special ergonomic design makes it the best ice machine for knee injuries.
  • Long cooling time compared to other entries on the list.
  • Very light and portable
  • Doesn’t have a motor so everything has to be done manually.


Aircast Non-Motorized Ankle Cryo Cuff Review – 90%


Most universal pads don’t go all the way around your ankle. That’s why this Aircast medical ice machine is perfect for foot and ankle injuries – it comes with a boot that fits your foot perfectly and provides it with a steady flow of icy water. The boot is designed to be worn on both feet.

However, some users have complained about the boot being too big and not providing enough pressure.

The cooling unit is the same gravity-based unit as with the previous Aircast product on our list.


  • The boot is specifically designed to treat ankle and foot injuries.
  • The boot is easy to assemble.
  • Some users have found the boot too big.


Ossur Cold Rush Therapy System Review – 88%


The motorized Ossur Cold Rush Cold Therapy System can provide a steady flow of cold water for up to six hours while producing little to no noise. It has the same motor that can be found in much larger devices like mobile refrigerators or air coolers, so it gives you excellent compression and consistent cooling.

It comes with a large shoulder pad ergonomically designed to perfectly fit your shoulder, although you can order foot, ankle, hip, and universal pads as well. It’s very portable as it weighs only 2.1 kilograms and has a strategically placed handle that makes it convenient to carry. Two elasticised tubes provide a steady flow of cold water, although you should keep a towel near you, as condensed water can form on the outside of the straps.

ing feature, so you won’t have to worry about spilling a

  • Very compact, light, and portable.
  • Produces virtually no noise.
  • You can choose between a wide array of pads that fit different parts of the body.
  • Condensed water on the tubes can be a nuisance.
  • Instructions that come with the product are a bit confusing.


Active Ice Therapy System 2.0 Review – 86%


This medical ice machine from Polar Products is packed with useful features that add to its already solid overall performance. It comes with a handy 30-minute timer so even if you fall asleep or lose track of time, you won’t be at risk of keeping it on for too long.

Speaking of temperature, the Active Ice Therapy System also has an adjustable control for temperature flow and a thin layer of cloth which prevents the pads from causing any damage to your skin even at lowest temperatures. The cold water flows through a five-foot-long line that has quick disconnect couplings which allow you to move freely when you need to.


  • The timer reminds you to check your skin and avoid tissue damage.
  • The bladder has a thin layer of cloth that feels comfortable on the skin.
  • Adjustable temperature flow control.
  • It produces a fair amount of noise.
  • The most expensive entry on the list.


Vive Cold Therapy Machine – 82%


This Vive ice compression machine sports a six-feet hose that allows for extra movement and a steady flow of cold water for between six and eight hours. Its lid has a locking feature, so you won’t have to worry about spilling any liquid.

You also get a temperature controller, so you get to decide how cold you want it to be. Although it’s packed with useful features, the universal pad this machine has doesn’t fit all parts of the body. It’s good for back or rib injuries, but quite hard to wrap around your foot or keep on the shoulder.


  • Comes with a temperature controller.
  • Extra-long hose.
  • The lid can be locked to avoid spillage.
  • The universal pad doesn’t fit some parts of the body.
  • The heaviest product on the list.


PMT MEDICAL Hot Water Therapy Pump Review – 78%


Combining the effects of hot and cold therapy, the Aqua Relief System comes with four-foot long tubes and a small universal pad that can be used on different parts of the body, so you can use this ice therapy machine for knee, ankle, shoulder, and arm injuries. It can be set between 32 and 110 F, and it also comes with a timer you can set at 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes.

One of the downsides of this machine is that its pad might be too small to cover some parts of the body like your shoulder and back.


  • Comes with a useful auto shut off feature.
  • You can choose between hot and cold therapies.
  • Users have reported durability issues.
  • Doesn’t have a handle, which makes it difficult to carry and empty.


Frequently asked questions

What is an ice therapy machine?

An ice therapy machine is a cryotherapy device that uses an extremely cold liquid to reduce pain and swelling in the body. It works by numbing your nerve endings and can be used to reduce recovery time from a surgery or injury and relieve pain due to a rigorous workout.

Cryotherapy also reduces cell damage and increases the cells’ metabolic rate, which slows down the blood flow to the injured area and reduces swelling.

What are the pros and cons of ice therapy machines?

The pros:

  • They reduce swelling and pain, providing instant relief after an injury or a strenuous workout.
  • They help you heal faster and reduce recovery time after an injury.
  • The best ice therapy machine should be more effective and easier to use than regular, home-made ice packs.

The cons:

  • If used too much, they can cause tissue damage.
  • Although more effective, a cold therapy machine is much more expensive than a DIY ice pack.

What’s the best Ice Compression Machine for the knee?

We believe that the best ice machine for knee injuries is the Aircast Knee Ice Compression / Cooler Unit Set. With its tight wrap, it fits all body sizes and it’s perfect if you want to reduce swelling after surgery or treat a painful joint condition. It also has an open kneecap so it allows for more movement, but you still get enough pressure for it to be very effective.

What’s the best Medical Ice Machine for the Foot?

Because of its specific shape, the foot can be one of the most difficult parts of the body to treat with ice therapy machines. Universal pads will hardly do the trick here, as a foot injury requires a pad that will go all around the ankle and contour to the shape of the foot. To really help your foot heal you need a specially designed device that can cover the whole surface of your foot.

Out of all ice therapy machines we tried, The Aircast Non-Motorized Ankle Cryo Cuff is the best choice for treating a foot injury. It fits perfectly on both feet, is fairly easy to use, and can provide cryotherapy for as much as eight hours.

What’s the best Cryotherapy machine for the shoulder?

When looking for the best ice therapy machine for the shoulder, you should pay close attention to the size of the pad. Since the shoulder is quite a large joint, you will need a large pad to cool your whole shoulder and provide you with enough pressure.

We believe that the Ossur Cold Rush Cold Therapy System is the best shoulder ice machine, simply because of its large pad. It has a unique shape that is anatomically designed to cover your whole shoulder area and stay there for as long as you need it.

Should I use an Ice Therapy machine after surgery?

The short answer to this question would be – most certainly. The first days after your surgery are crucial, and your doctor will often recommend you ice therapy. Not only does it help relieve the pain, but it also accelerates healing and helps you get back on track as fast as possible.

Ice therapy machines are also more effective than regular ice packs, as they usually cover larger areas of the body, provide more pressure, and their cold lasts longer and penetrates deeper.

How much does a Cryotherapy Machine Cost?

Depending on the model and manufacturer, you can get a cryotherapy machine for between 60 and 200 pounds. Needless to say, the more money you’re willing to spend, the more advanced features the model will have.

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