Just like KT Tape, I received a free sample of Arctic Ease cryotherapy wraps in my race packet at the Marine Corps Marathon/10K expo. Just like KT Tape, I was skeptical the high-tech, fancy-pants wrap would be any better than cheaper, more traditional treatments.
Just like KT Tape, I misjudged this incredible stuff, and am now officially in love with it.
Arctic Ease markets itself as an alternative to commercial ice packs, bags of ice or frozen peas. It works by absorbing heat energy from the body to cool the covered area, according to its website. The absorbed heat is then lost to evaporation, which makes the wrap cold.
You just wrap it around what hurts …
… and keep it on until you’re done icing. Then, you roll it back up, stick it back in the package, add a few teaspoons of water, and reuse it in two hours. You don’t freeze it, but instead just leave it on your counter to rehydrate itself. Amazing!
It’s not as cold as a bag of frozen peas, but the Arctic Ease website explains: “The optimal temperature for effective cold therapy is above 59° F (15°C). When skin temperatures go below that, tissue damage such as frostnip and frostbite can occur — it’s one of the biggest risks associated with traditional ice therapy.”
Fair enough. It also doesn’t leak a smelly green pus when it’s nearing the end of its life, which gives it a definite advantage over the peas.
I’m not sure how many times my Arctic Ease wrap can be reused. At about $13 for a 60-by-4-inch wrap, this could make a huge difference in whether I buy a replacement once my free sample is tapped out. But for the time being, I’m in love.
Have you tried Arctic Ease wraps? What did you think? What’s your favorite icing method?