Cold pack/skin interface temperature during ice treatment with various levels of compression



To compare cold pack/skin interface temperature during a 20-minute ice application with various levels of compression.


Repeated measures.


Laboratory setting in an educational institution.


Forty healthy females aged between 20 and 23 years.


An ice pack was applied to the right thigh with compression using an elastic bandage. Five different levels of compression were used: 0 (no compression), 14, 24, 34 and 44mmHg.

Main outcome measure

Cold pack/skin interface temperature was monitored every minute during the 20-minute ice application.


Ice application with compression led to significantly lower cold pack/skin interface temperatures than ice application without compression during the 20-minute application (with compression: mean 6.1°C, 95% confidence interval 5.9–6.3°C; without compression: mean 8.1°C, 95% confidence interval 7.7–8.5°C) (P<0.05). The level of compression did not significantly affect the magnitude of the cooling temperature (14mmHg: mean 6.4°C, 95% confidence interval 6.0–6.8°C; 24mmHg and 34mmHg: mean 6.1°C, 95% confidence interval 5.7–6.5°C; 44mmHg: mean 5.9°C, 95% confidence interval 5.5–6.3°C) (P>0.05). The minimum temperature reached with ice application with compression of 0, 14, 24, 34 and 44mmHg was achieved after 9, 7, 6, 6 and 5minutes of application, respectively (0mmHg: mean 5.0°C, 95% confidence interval 4.9–5.1°C; 14mmHg: mean 4.2°C, 95% confidence interval 4.1–4.3°C; 24mmHg: mean 4.0°C, 95% confidence interval 3.9–4.1°C; 34mmHg: mean 3.9°C, 95% confidence interval 3.7–4.0°C; 44mmHg: mean 3.7°C, 95% confidence interval 3.6–3.9°C) (P<0.05).


Ice application with adjunctive compression leads to a greater magnitude and rate of cooling compared with ice application without compression. The higher the level of compression, the shorter the time to the minimum recorded temperature. Further research is required to demonstrate the effect of various levels of compression applied over an ice pack in a clinical population.


Cold pack/skin interface temperature during ice treatment with various levels of compression
Prawit Janwantanakul
Physiotherapy - December 2006 (Vol. 92, Issue 4, Pages 254-259, DOI: 10.1016/