If you need a shoulder ice wrap to help recover from an injury, you may be surprised at the variety available. Before choosing, consider whether you need one or both shoulders to be treated with ice. You should also think about whether other areas near the shoulder are sore enough to warrant treatment, as some wraps cover more than just the shoulder. Additionally, consider purchasing a shoulder ice wrap that also doubles as a warm compress when you heat it up, as this can save you money if you do not already have a hot compress.
Most shoulder ice wraps are meant to be worn on one shoulder only, which is fine for a sudden injury since only one shoulder is usually affected. With this kind of shoulder ice wrap, the cold part usually sits on the shoulder, with a strap that either goes straight across the chest to wrap around the whole back, or under the opposite underarm. On the other hand, some ice wraps cover both shoulders, which is ideal if they are both sore due to repetitive motions associated with sports, working out, or your job. This kind of shoulder ice wrap usually resembles a shirt that only covers the shoulders and chest, so it does not need a strap to stay on.
Some shoulder wraps actually cover parts of the arm, as well, so consider this type if you have also injured areas near the shoulder. For example, some are large enough to also treat the lats, upper arms, and pectoral muscles rather than just the shoulders. Of course, if the one you are considering does not cover this much space on the body, you can opt for a larger size so that these areas are treated by default. If you are only looking to treat the shoulder, then a wrap that features an ice pack just big enough for this area is probably best since it is likely to be lighter and less bulky than one that covers other sections of the body.
Whether you are involved in sports or have a job that requires you to be particularly physical, you will probably need both a cold and hot compress at some point. While icing your shoulder may be your current goal, you should plan ahead for other potential injuries and irritations by also getting a warm compress if you do not already have one. Find a shoulder ice wrap that can be heated up and used as a warm compress when you want to focus on relieving pain instead of eliminating swelling like an ice wrap often does. This can save you money since you will not have to buy two separate products.