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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What is a cryocuff?

A cryocuff is a type of cold compress. A cuff, similar to a blood pressure cuff, is wrapped around the swollen or painful body area. The cuff is filled with ice cold fluid. The cold compression helps decrease pain, swelling, and muscle spasms. It is used after an injury, physical therapy sessions, or surgery.

How do I use a cryocuff?

Read all instructions before you prepare and use the cryocuff.

  • Prepare the cooler:
    • Connect the blue tube to the cooler.
    • Add cold water up to the line inside the cooler.
    • Fill the cooler the rest of the way with ice.
    • Lay the insulated disk on top of the ice and close the lid tightly.
    • Let the cooler sit for 5 minutes. Shake it occasionally to cool the water.
  • Apply the empty cuff:
    • Wrap the cuff around the area to be cooled.
    • Tighten any straps so they are snug but not too tight.
  • Connect the cuff and cooler:
    • Connect the blue tube to your cuff. You should hear a click when it is connected.
    • Hold the cooler above the cuff until the cuff fills. This should take about 30 seconds. Do not raise the cooler more than 15 inches above the cuff.
    • When the cuff is full, set the cooler next to your cuff so it is level with your cuff.
    • If your cryocuff exchanges cold water automatically, plug the cooler into an outlet.
    • If your cryocuff works by gravity, you can disconnect the tube and go about your daily activities with your cuff on.
    • Keep the cryocuff on for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day, or as directed.
    • Unplug the cooler when the ice has melted.
    • When you are done, squeeze the cuff to empty it completely while it is attached to the cooler.

What other tips do I need to know?

  • If your cooler is plugged in, make sure the cuff and cooler are level when in use.
  • Lower the cooler to decrease pressure if you have any numbness, tingling, or discomfort.
  • Check your skin every 1 to 2 hours when you use the cryocuff.
  • Do not use an elastic wrap under the cuff. Any bandages in place should be lightly wrapped.
  • Be sure to empty the cuff and cooler after each use.
  • Use mild dish soap to clean the cooler and lid. Do not put the lid completely into water.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or other injured area.
  • You develop pain and redness from the cryocuff that does not go away when you remove it.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.