How to Make a Shoulder Ice Pack

Many shoulder injuries need to be treated with ice packs right away to help prevent swelling. If you have a rotator cuff tear, bursitis or another form of inflammation in your shoulder, icing will help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Wrapping an ice pack around your shoulder can be difficult, and holding it in place can be inconvenient. Using a bandage to strap the ice pack in place allows you to ice your shoulder while keeping your hands free.

Step 1

Wrap a plastic zipper bag full of crushed ice or a large bag of frozen peas in a hand towel. Fold the towel around both sides of the bag to keep it from touching your skin.

Step 2

Lay the ice pack over your shoulder, shaping it to cover the sore area. When you have the bag in place, lay one end of an elastic bandage across the top of the ice pack. The rolled part of the bandage should be behind your arm.

Step 3

Wrap the bandage under your armpit and back to the top of your arm, overlapping the end.

Step 4

Wrap the bandage across your back, under the opposite armpit and across your chest. Bring the rolled part of the bandage back to the top of the injured shoulder, where you started.

Step 5

Wrap the bandage behind the injured shoulder and underneath the same armpit, as you did in Step 3.

Step 6

Bring the bandage over the shoulder and around to your back once more. Fasten the free end of the bandage to a section of bandage on your back.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic zipper bag

  • Crushed ice

  • Frozen peas

  • Hand towel

  • 4- to 6-inch elastic bandage with fasteners


You will probably need someone to help you wrap your shoulder, especially if your mobility is limited.


Visit an orthopedist if you suspect a severe shoulder injury or if the swelling and pain worsen despite the ice pack.

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