An ice pack is essentially a product that replicates ice’s standard properties, except that it consists of a plastic bag containing ice. It shares the same physical properties as that of ice, such as its coldness. However, it may slightly differ in functional properties. While the predominantly use of plain ice cubes for chilling down drinks. Benefits of having an ice pack vary to serve different purposes.
There are different types of ice packs or ice bags that are available. These include using any plastic bag, filling it with ice. Many people also tend to use a frozen peas bag as an ice bag. Recent innovative times came with the introduction of ice gel packs and its widespread use amongst the population.
Different Between Ice Packs and Ice Gel Packs
Simple ice packs consist of a plastic bag full of ice. On the other hand, an ice gel pack is a plastic bag filled with special refrigerant gel. People consider both of these items as cold packs. However, one may consider ice gel packs over the other. There are substantial differences that set them both apart. An ice gel pack attempts to improve the features of the typical ice pack.
How are Gel Packs Made?
Ice gel can be produced with many methods. Most of the time, the ice gels inside ice packs are made out of ammonium nitrate or urea. However, there are other techniques, such as rubbing alcohol as well. There are many online tutorial videos available on how to make a homemade ice gel pack.
Benefits of using Ice Gel Packs Instead of Only Ice
There are certain advantages to the ice gel packs, which make it a better option than merely frozen water. Always look for getting one that lasts longer at room temperature. Ice gel packs contain a refrigerant gel. This gel is an additive infused liquid with more viscosity than plain water.
The cold chain packaging industry benefits significantly from the ice gel packs. The reason is that the ice gel packs, at room temperature, will stay frozen for a longer time than ice. Furthermore, they also provide a better option than ‘wet ice’, which refers to ice blocks getting wet because of melting. Therefore, cold package shipment prefers their food not to encounter wet surfaces because it may hamper the food quality. For these reasons, ice gel packs present as excellent alternatives to ice blocks in a plastic bag.
Different Uses of Ice Packs
Apart from cold chain packaging, there are plenty of other uses of the ice packs. There are several benefits from an ice pack because its functions range from cold storage to healing and pain relief. Many people use ice packs in many remedial treatments as well.
Gel packs are ideal for treating common ailments such as bruises, pains, or swellings. They are commonly used in plenty of medical facilities like hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes. Moreover, it is also often used in other facilities like schools, army camps and offices as a tool for treating injuries.
Medical associates, practitioners, and associates use ice packs for instant pain relief and prevention of swelling. The role of ice packs in injury-induced pain alleviation goes beyond comprehension. Therefore, ice packs serve important medical use and have plenty of medical benefits.
Ice Treatment in Orthopedics
Ice gel packs are excellent tools to perform ice therapy, which is a treatment in orthopaedics. Since ice gel packs can reach freezing temperatures and sustain them at room temperatures for a longer time, they are excellent alternatives for this treatment.
Ice therapy or cold therapy involves rubbing icy cold object on the injured part of the body. In the case of tissue damage, the body triggers an inflammatory response which causes the specific area of tissue damage to swell. The swelling will make the injury more vulnerable to further damage and slow down the body’s healing process.
Therefore, the instant application of an ice gel pack on an injury helps slow down the inflammatory response that leads to swelling. It also speeds up the healing process and encourages the flow of nutrients to the damaged tissues. Ice packs often used for acute or chronic injuries. Cover it with a cloth and apply it to the injured area of the body. When applying the ice pack to a recent injury, make sure that it is within the 48-hour time span in which swelling occurs.
Fitness and Sports Uses
Fitness training involves gruesome and exhausting exercises that cause fatigue. Fatigue and muscle pain, spasm, or even injury is widespread in fitness facilities, gym, and martial arts training centres. Like medical facilities, ice packs also find their way into the fitness and sports industry.
Some of the injuries that the ice packs treat are very common to avid fitness and sports players. These include tendon and muscle damage, along with multiple forms of bruising and swelling. Furthermore, the fantastic pain-relieving properties that ice gel packs encompass make them an ideal treatment for professional athletes that go through intense training, such as bodybuilders, martial arts fighters, and footballers.
Lastly, ice gel packs are incredibly crucial for the cold chain packaging industry. They are cornerstone tools for keeping heat-sensitive foods fresh inside insulated containers for the shipping process. During the transportation of perishables like fresh meat, eggs, or other dairy items, ice gel packs often used with the packaging. Inside properly insulated containers, ice gel packs can maintain their coldness for about 24-36 hours. Therefore, they make excellent cold packs that slow down bacterial growth in perishables.
Ice packs are an excellent source for comfort and preservation of food products, and their benefits go way beyond industrial use. They are a great thing to have at home, with multiple far-reaching purposes.