Best Ice Packs for Shoulder Injuries

ice packs for shoulder injuries

If you’ve ever had a shoulder injury, you know that applying ice to your shoulder is a tricky venture. Ice plays an integral role in speeding recovery, but it can be annoying and awkward to apply to a large joint like the shoulder.

By securing a wearable ice pack for shoulder injuries, you can reap the full benefits of consistent, comfortable cryotherapy. 

5 Ice Packs for Shoulder Injuries

Whether it’s a torn rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, or chronic arthritis, a compression wrap with a removable ice pack will help you get relief fast. I’ve found five of the best ice packs for shoulder injuries, all which you can purchase fairly cheaply on Amazon.

1. NatraCure Compression Ice Pack

compression ice pack

I’ve featured this product in another article, but it’s worth a second mention. What sets it apart is the design. Instead of pulling on straps and buckles, to tighten the sleeve you inflate it via a detachable hand pump. The result? A closer fit, better compression, and colder relief.

  • Compression sleeve with hand pump
  • Removable insert
  • Good for ice or heat
  • Machine washable
  • For left or right shoulders
  • Fits chests up to 50” around
  • $40

2. Thermopeutic Compression Ice Wrap

ice packs for shoulder injuries

As one of the most highly-rated shoulder ice wraps on Amazon, the Thermopeutic Compression wrap is reportedly “worth every penny.” You’ll pay a little more for this one than for wraps of a similar design, but perhaps the benefits outweigh the cost:

  • Strong compression straps
  • Easy to use; can be secured with one hand
  • Broad ice coverage for shoulder and upper arm
  • Good for ice or heat
  • Fits left or right shoulders
  • Includes a storage bag
  • $35

3. Magic Gel Shoulder Ice Pack

shoulder ice pack

With only 20 bucks to spend, you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your ice pack. The Magic Gel ice pack conforms to your shoulder to provide an all-over coverage beyond what you’d get from other wraps with inserts. You shouldn’t wear this directly on your skin, however, and without a compression wrap you’ll lose out on proper support. 

  • Fully Adjustable
  • Reversible for right or left shoulders
  • Good for ice only
  • Unfolds flat
  • $20

4. NEWGO Shoulder Ice Pack 

When undergoing ice therapy, you’re supposed to follow a “20 minutes on, 20 minutes off” routine. However, many ice packs take longer than 20 minutes to refreeze, causing a gap in your therapy. To address this, NEWGO offers a second ice pack insert at an additional cost. The only major drawback to this wrap is that, depending on your body type, you may find the fit uncomfortable across your chest. 

  • Adjustable Compression Wrap
  • Ice or heat
  • Fits right or left shoulders
  • Unfolds flat
  • Additional ice packs available
  • Includes storage bag
  • $21.50 for wrap and 1 ice pack; $10 for an additional ice pack

5. TherX Gel Ice Pack

Another bargain buy, the TherX gel ice pack couches its cold therapy in a comfortable, high-quality compression wrap. You can use this wrap for all kinds of shoulder injuries or even for heat therapy. Just be aware that some reviewers found it tricky to adjust single-handedly, and without a tight fit you will lose out on the compression. 

  • Adjustable Compression Wrap
  • Strong, soft velcro
  • Capable of ice or heat
  • Good for right or left shoulders
  • Fits chests up to 60”
  • $20

Rehabilitating Shoulder Injuries

By wearing an ice pack for your shoulder injury, you’ll be addressing one vital component to the healing process. But don’t neglect the other steps.

Maybe you’ve heard of the acronym “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. I encourage you to instead follow a different one: POLICE

POLICE stands for Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Most of these ice packs will help you achieve at least the Ice and Compression steps, but it’s up to you to make sure your injury is protected, elevated, and optimally loaded for best recovery.

What do I mean by “optimally loaded”? Simple: using your shoulder in ways that won’t aggravate the injury. Instead of only “resting” the injury, POLICE reminds you to rehabilitate your shoulder by including easy exercises that encourage muscle growth and healing.

Physical therapy is all about optimal loading, and if you want to explore the benefits of light exercise, check out these 10 moves for nonsurgical rotator cuff rehabilitation.

Tim Fraticelli, DPT Physical Therapist

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.