Physiolab review S1 icing unit is a recovery must have

If you’re wanting to really maximise your recovery post-surgery then the Physiolab is a must have in your rehab programme, here’s my story and Physiolab review:

How it started

I’ve had a pretty tough few years battling injuries following being hit by a red-light-jumping car whilst cycling in 2014. It was life changing and the recovery has been long. You can read the full accident story here, but in brief I’ve had 7 surgeries over 6 years including a fully reconstructed shoulder and hip. It’s been a battle, that’s for sure. However, along my journey I’ve discovered things that really make the difference in terms of recovery, and one of those things is Physiolab [I also highly recommend active collagen – read more].

Here I’m going to talk about what Physiolab is, how it works, how I’ve used it and of course whether I would recommend it – my full Physiolab review.

£25 off with VR25

What is Physiolab?

The Physiolab is a class 2a medical device for managing pain, swelling and inflammation. This means it is ideal for post-surgery rehabilitation and also recovery from sports. Though an intensive form of icing it aids and accelerates the body’s healing process. Something called cryotherapy, which all sounds a little technical – but it is effectively a technique that involves applying an extremely cold temperate to a localised area of the body for several minutes. The Physiolab gives this application of cooling and compression, which is very widely known and commonly used for the treatment of pain, swelling and inflammation.

To simplify that, the Physiolab straps around you with a special pack for different body parts and using a combination of air and water compresses on to you. This applies a very even pressure to your body and then the ice-cold water is pumped, providing localised cooling.

Why not just use ice packs?

Ice packs do provide great cooling, however they are limited in the ability to apply them evenly to the body. Icing with a traditional bag of peas or ice also tends to cool just the surface and can very easily cause an ice burn to the skin. The Physiolab provides an even pressure and distribution of the cooling at a controlled temperature to prevent any skin damage, while also enabling the compression application of cooling to penetrate far deeper into the body. It’s just far more effective, goes much deeper into the tissues and without any risks. My Physiolab review comes from genuine experience through three surgery recoveries using it.

What do you need?

  • Physiolab with correct body pack
  • Power source
  • Water
  • Ice [in large volumes – more below on how to make high volume ice for free at home]
  • A warm jumper as it is cold to use
  • Time

How to use the Physiolab

Physiolab offer various different body packs depending on your injury, such as knee, elbow, ankle, hip, shoulder. I’ve always used the hip as I had unfortunately not heard of PhysioLab at the time of my shoulder reconstruction.  You fill the PhysioLab tank with around 1 litre of ice and then fill to the line with tap water, apply the pack, select the correct setting before sitting back and enjoying the freeze! It’s genuinely very COLD but that’s what you’re after.

I’ve always used the device for 30 minutes every 2 hours, aiming for 6 sessions a day. Please discuss the recommended usage volumes and times with Physiolab as this might vary for other injuries. It is time consuming however for most surgeries you’re off work for a period of time anyway. Saying that, I used the Physio lab for 3 weeks in the office and my work were very considerate and happy for me to plug in. I brought ice in from home and keep my treatments going. Generally, if you have the will to make it work, you’ll find a way as health is such a priority.

Physiolab review for post surgery
Accelerated healing with Physiolab

Making the ice

Each treatment requires around 1 litre of ice, which is a lot of ice cubs! Making the volume of ice the Physiolab needs would be a huge task if you were using ice trays. Instead I use plastic tupperware tubs, old peanut butter tubs, plastic containers and put them on a tray in a freezer. Some are larger than the hole in the Physiolab so I just grab a hammer or knife and crack them in two. It means you can easily create high volumes of ice for free at home. Another option if you’re not worried about money is buying ice bags from the supermarket, around £1 a bag, but over a month that would add up.


The Physiolab is in a large pelican case so it’s very well protected for taking it around with you. I would say its’ a large brief vase size or similar to an airport hand luggage allowance. It is possible to get a battery pack for them too, however this is a special request should you need to be on the road with it.

Physiolab mobile treatment
Physiolab is mobile to come with you where your rehab needs are reqired


  • The hip pack as been ‘upgraded’ and now only provides exterior hip cooling, whereas the previous provided full 360 hip cooling including the groin. Sadly a step back in my opinion but it does still support hip recovery
  • It is a relatively large machine so while it is transportable it is a big devise to lug around and you do of course need a freezer with ice handy
  • The only other limitation is going to be your dedication to use it, it’s cold but it works so you must find the time and energy to get the full benefits.


You’re looking at around £330 for a 4-week period with the Physiolab. They will ship it out to you and collect as part of this, and provide you with the correct body pack for your injury. Given the healing benefits I would say this is a bargain for such a long period. Reduce pain and accelerated healing is worth parting with the money.

Get £25 off with Physiolab using code “GIRLONABIKE” at

Physiolab treatment
I’ve used Physiolab post three hip surgerys and would not battle a recovery without it


  1. Accelerated healing
  2. Easy home application for frequent effortless healing
  3. No running costs, just recovery

Tips From Experience

  • It’s pretty chilly icing but your body does get use to it, over the first few days it will start to feel less cold and uncomfortable, wear a warm jumper and woolly hat if you’re cold. I like being under the duvet in bed doing my hip
  • The breakdown of inflammation can be painful so don’t be surprised if the pain gets a little bit worse when you first start icing. Go with it. The break-down of inflammation can be painful, but in time you should start to feel an improvement, this can take a few weeks which is why Physiolab recommend a 4-week rental

Overall Rating

If you’re in post-surgery recovery the Physiolab is an absolute must have to accelerate your recover. Icing is a well-known treatment and the Physiolab brings a class 2a medical device to your home. Here’s my review.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and

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