There is a new up-and-comer in the world of cold therapy, and in case you don’t know them, they are called SimplyJnJ. Last year we did a review of their Cold Therapy Wrap for Back, Hips and Ribs and we were not disappointed. They now have a new product, which we were excited to have a look at, and it’s their Cold Therapy Elbow Ice Wrap. If you suffer from any form of elbow pain, whether it’s related to Tennis Elbow, Elbow Tendonitis, or anything else, we highly recommend that you read this latest review. We’ll start by tackling some very important information, including some details on the elbow anatomy, some of the common causes of elbow pain and then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of our review.
Let’s Start with the Elbow Anatomy
The reason why we wanted to give you a break down of the elbow anatomy is that it can really help you pinpoint which part of the elbow is giving you grief (or at least give you a general idea). Have a look at the following diagram to give you an idea:
As you can see from the image above, the elbow is a joint formed by three articulating bones, which are the distal end of the humerus, the head of the radius and the ulna, which form the lower part of the arm. The biceps and triceps allow flexion and extension of the joint. The joint of the radius and muscle, using the biceps muscle and a muscle called the pronator teres muscle, aids rotation of the elbow. At the far, or distal, end of the humerus, there are two bony prominent parts of the humerus called the medial and lateral epicondyles, which commonly cause pain because the tendons of the muscles that flex and extend the wrist are attached to the epicondyles.
Common Causes of Elbow Pain
Elbow pain can be the result of any disruption of the joint or the structures that surround it. The most common causes of elbow pain are epicondylitis, bursitis of the olecranon bursa, entrapment of nerves and pain referred from other areas. Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis that cause pain throughout the body may also affect the elbow joint. Here’s more information on the subject:
- Lateral epicondylitis – Lateral epicondylitis, also called tennis elbow, is the most common cause of pain in the elbow and refers to the inflammation of the tendon that joins the elbow bone to the forearm muscles that are used to extend the wrist and fingers. People who repeatedly use the forearm muscles, such as tennis players, weightlifters, painters, and plumbers, are particularly prone to develop lateral epicondylitis.
- Medial epicondylitis – Like lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis (“golfer’s elbow”) causes discomfort around the joint. However, the symptoms of medial epicondylitis are located on the inside of the elbow and are due to the inflammation of the tendon.
- Olécranon bursitis – The olecranon bursa is a sac filled with fluid located between the tip of the elbow bone and the skin. When a patient has olecranon bursitis, it usually has swelling and tenderness behind the joint over the bony prominence called olecranon. If the swelling increases enough, a person may not be able to fully move the elbow.
- Tendonitis of biceps and triceps – Biceps tendonitis is most commonly caused by the repetitive activity of the biceps muscles (for example, lifting heavy boxes) and causes painful pain at the elbow. On the other hand, triceps tendinitis (less common than biceps tendonitis) causes painful pain in the back of the elbow.
- Elbow fractures – Broken bones can occur in the area of the elbow following injuries, such as a fall on the elbow or an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the elbow, for example in a car accident. Symptoms of an elbow fracture include sudden and severe pain in the elbow and forearm, along with swelling, possible numbness and tingling in the hand and/or inability to stretch the arm.
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome – Your ulnar nerve goes from your neck to your hand. Sometimes, the nerve is compressed when it is wrapped around the inside of the elbow. This condition is known as cubital tunnel syndrome. Along with an aching pain in the inside of the elbow, cubital tunnel syndrome often causes numbness of the fingers.
- Elbow Dislocation – An elbow dislocation is not common and usually occurs when a person falls onto an outstretched hand. When the hand touches the ground, the force of the fall is transferred to the elbow, which can make it turn to pull out of the socket. Along with severe elbow pain, dislocation often causes visible elbow deflection, swelling and squeezing in the joint. Some people also experience numbness and tingling in the hand.
Why Use SimplyJnJ’s Cold Therapy Elbow Ice Wrap with Compression?
Cold therapy is normally the therapy of choice when treating elbow pain. Also known as cryotherapy, cold therapy involves treating the injured part of the body (in this case, the elbow) with colder temperatures than normal. Cold therapy reduces the swelling and inflammation that normally follow an injury, which gives you some much-needed pain relief. When you add compression to the mix, it also helps to prevent further swelling and also ensures a proper contact with the gel pack and your injure elbow. Better contact means deeper and more focused treatment.
So why this kit? Before we get into that, let’s cover what the elbow pain relief kit actually comes with. Once you get your package (either directly from SimplyJnJ or their store on Amazon), you’ll get the nylon wrap, compression tube, two ice gel packs (in case you need to alternate) and detailed instructions on how to use it.
Although there are a lot of decent elbow ice wraps out there, we like SimplyJnJ’s design because it makes use of cold therapy and compression to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation and this one in particular was designed specifically to cover the elbow for a more focused treatment. From their Web site, the company indicates that it provides relief for “elbow pain caused by tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, tendonitis elbow, ulnar nerve pain, muscle spasms, bursitis, fibromyalgia, sprains, injuries and more.”. It also helps with the recovery process after orthopedic surgery or an arthroscopic procedure.
How it works
When you receive your package, all you have to do is place both elbow ice gel packs in the freezer. Then, whenever you need to get some relief, just take one out and place it inside the wrap and then apply it to your elbow. Because it gets really cold, SimplyJnJ recommends that you place a piece of cloth in between the wrap and your skin, to protect it from getting burned.
After 15-20 minutes, just take it off and place the gel pack back in the freezer, and that’s it. Normally cold therapy shouldn’t be applied for longer than that.
- Universally designed to fit the right or left elbow
- It’s reusable and can be used as often as you need it.
- One size fits all and can be adjusted using the Velcro straps.
- Allows you to ice your elbow while walking around your house.
- Durable, breathable, comfortable design.
- Drug-free solution for your pain.
Things to watch out for
- It feels a little bit bulkier than other wraps we’ve tried
- A little tricky to apply to your arm the 1st time you do it, however after that it’s fine.
That about wraps up our review on SimplyJnJ’s Cold Therapy Elbow Ice Wrap. Will it work for you? We have no doubt that it will, but one thing you have to remember is that not all injuries and pain are the same so we always suggest that you consult a doctor before starting any form of therapy. When they sign off that you need some cold therapy for your elbow problem, then we hope you keep this product in mind. If you would like to purchase one, it is available on Amazon or directly on SimplyJnJ’s web site. Just make sure you use coupon code CAHSSAVE10 at checkout to save 10%!
If you’ve already tried this elbow ice wrap, we’d love to get your feedback. Or maybe you have some other tips and tricks on how to deal with elbow pain? If so, just use the comment box below!
Reminder/Disclaimer – We are not doctors here at CAHS. We simply review great products and share our opinion on them. Always consult a doctor before starting any form of treatment.