Published on September 27, 2013
Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (so called ‘RICE’) forms the cornerstone of treatment for a host of minor running injuries and is also part of the advisable protocol after a hard training session or tough run/race. But often the key to success is the immediacy of treatment and finding an effective way to cool aching muscles can be an issue. Physicool is a go-anywhere, instant cooling and compression solution that neatly addresses the trickier two of the RICE elements.
Basically Physicool is a long bandage available in two sizes – 10cm x 2m and 12cm x 3m – which ships in a resealable foil package and is presoaked in a coolant. To use unpack the bandage, squeeze any excess coolant back into the pack, and wrap tightly around the injured area, securing with the integrated Velcro straps. The key to Physicool’s success is that the cooling process works through evaporation – the temperature drop is noticeable immediately and reaches its most effective within five minutes – meaning that unlike traditional icepacks it can be taken anywhere without the need to freeze. After use, unwind the bandage, put it back into the foil pouch and reseal ready for the next time.
Generally the bandage is good for two or three uses, but can then be ‘topped up’ with additional coolant to extend its life and use almost indefinitely. The Physicool bandage is 100% cotton and washable, in our experience a good thing because applying post-trail run or ultra-marathon they soak up the grime and stink unbelievably.
Physicool is certainly one of the most effective recovery products RunningMonkey has ever used. The close conformity to the injured/aching muscle group is excellent and the degree in cooling spot on (traditional icepacks can actually be too cold.) Being able to take Physicool for use in the field, post-race is an indispensable addition to the kit back.
Physicool bandage size A (10cm x 2m, best suited to wrist, elbow and ankle) retails at £9.99, size B (12cm x 3m for shoulder, knee, leg and back), £12.99 and 500ml of additional coolant – good we found for around 10 ‘recharges’ – £16.99; combination packs of bandage size A and 150ml of coolant also available at £14.99. Available on the high street and online via physicool.co.uk