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Icing a knee in london

We leave this coming Saturday and my husband’s knee has been acting up. He ices it at home when it does that but wondered what suggestions you might have for doing so in London. He has an ice pack from physical therapy that goes into the freezer but remains malleable.

We are staying at Premier Inn County Hall near the London Eye. I am sure they don’t have fridges in the room to refreeze the ice pack he uses. He had also thought of bringing a hot water bottle and filling it up with ice. That would work in US with an ice machine but not I am afraid in London. Can you buy ice somewhere close to where we are staying?

Any other suggestions?

Posted by
430 posts

Many hotels have ice machines, so the Premier Inn may have one. A few years ago my husband needed some ice for an injured foot when we were traveling in London and I went down to the kitchen and asked for some ice. We always have different sized ziplock bags in our suitcase, so I just put the ice in one of the bags and zipped it up. Worked really well, but you would need to refresh every day. Good luck.

Posted by
8995 posts

I’ve been in the same situation, when ice machines aren’t available at the hotel Ive usually been able find bags if ice for sale at most grocery type stores. But if you do bring along the reusable packs, be aware that they must be placed inside checked baggage. Airport security won’t allow them In carryons.

Posted by
3789 posts

I notice no replies from UK contributors. I don't recall an ice machine or fridge in my Premier Inn at Heathrow or Southampton. Ice is just not as ubiquitous as in North America. A google search would pull up whether yours has a bar or not. I would get one of those ice bags like the old hangover cures rather than a gel refreezable ones, and ask for ice at their bar. They are under $10 and should be available at Walmart - certainly Amazon. Mouth of a hot water bottle may not be big enough.
A ziplock can work and when I was on an African safari with a broken shoulder, I had a wet bandana. When I could get ice, I made an icepack, but I had more luck freezing it wet and using as an ice pad...when there was a generator to run a freezer. Didn't last long, but was lucky to find anything camping in the Serengeti.
I know there are some back 'heat' strips you can buy. Not cheap, but men's knees are big - would they work?

Posted by
5788 posts

I tore a hamstring in Italy. I asked the hotel and was able to get ice in a plastic bag from the hotel restaurant.

Premier Inns are pretty helpful. They’ll give you some ice from the bar if you ask them nicely. I bet they’d freeze an ice pack for you if you ask.

I was stuck once in a Premier Inn with flu and they gave me a lemon to have with hot water, and lots of herbal teabags and some oranges.

Posted by
2927 posts

Bring a supply of the ice bags that are neutral until you twist it. Then it gets cold. Not sure of the name, but used all over the medical field, in Boston anyway. I'm sure there is a nurse on here who can name it. They work great. However, you will likely have to check a bag.

Posted by
8995 posts

I tired using those disposable crack to activate ice packs on a previous trip, and they didn't work out very well; they just weren't cold enough. For my my knee the ice pack has to be freezing cold, enough to make the knee numb.

Posted by
28078 posts

If the Premier Inn County Hall can't help you (I bet they can), sneak next door to the Marriott. Bet they can help a sad and painful face.

Posted by
855 posts

Years ago we were in London and needed ice in the hotel room. Hotel couldn't help us, so they suggested that we go to the Pub next door. Hubby went to get some and it took forever!! I was waiting in the hotel. He felt like he had to have a pint and then asked for some ice. No problem. Turned into an evening tradition, until I finally went with him. It was great, they recognized him and asked if he wanted a pint and some ice to take home. ( I had one, too) If you don't drink, or don't need a pint, ask if they will sell you a bit of ice. They might think that you are a "Crazy American", but guess what? Some of us are. It was nice to walk into the pub and be recognized.

Have a Great Trip!

Posted by
1780 posts

Thanks for all the great ideas! I will get him a proper “ice bag” like the ones got hangovers! That is something that had not occurred to me. (Or asking at a pub!) And I think we will check a bag so can take what he uses at home. We will be in an apartment after London so will easier.

You are the best!

Posted by
1401 posts

And if all these other suggestions fail....well google maps shows a Starbucks and a Burger King at Waterloo East rail station.

Posted by
5788 posts

... husband’s knee has been acting up....

Perhaps the bigger question in need of an answer is how severe is the "knee acting up" and should the real question be go or no go?
Will walking and standing cause greater harm? Will sitting in a confined space crossing the ocean exasperate the condition or lead to other problems?

You may want to arrange for wheelchair assistance at airports. The benefit in addition to reducing aggravation of the afflicted knee is wheelchair transport shot cuts/skips big lines at the airport.

Check with your medical provider, but when my wife's knee went out in the UK, the UK medical practitioner prescribed high dosages of ibuprofen to reduce inflammation

Other question is do you have trip cancellation insurance? A friend developed a knee problem and canceled his Haute Route Ski tour. He was advised by his doc not to ski, but could have traveled. Insurance paid for half of his loss.

Posted by
3428 posts

McDonald's (and I bet other similar chains) will usually give you a large cup of ice. If each of you ask for one on your way back to the hotel, I bet you could fill the ice bag.

Posted by
11432 posts

Premier Inns have bars. Bars have ice. Just go down to the bar, explain your situation and I'm sure they'll give you some ice.

Posted by
1780 posts

I think my husband will be OK traveling. He has overdone it with his knee (meniscus tear) and is paying for it now. He had been doing really well which is why we went ahead and scheduled trip after putting it on hold following his injury last fall. We usually walk every where and may have to adapt by using public transportation more than usual.

Posted by
31510 posts


In addition to the ice, you may want to pack along a couple of Crepe / Tensor bandages to provide some support for the knee while walking. Perhaps one of these would also help.

Posted by
519 posts

I broke a toe in London a few years ago and my small hotel did not have ice. Fortunately, there was a grocery store right around the corner and I was able to purchase a bag of ice.

Posted by
5788 posts

knee (meniscus tear)

Since you (your other) is self-medicating, it seems that the R and I of RICE treatment would apply.
R = rest
I = ice (your query)\
C = compression
E = elevate

It seems that active travel would be inconsistent with the Rest.

Your doctor might recommend:

Rest. Avoid activities that aggravate your knee pain, especially any
activity that causes you to twist, rotate or pivot your knee. If your
pain is severe, using crutches can take pressure off your knee and
promote healing.

Ice. Ice can reduce knee pain and swelling. Use a cold pack, a bag of
frozen vegetables or a towel filled with ice cubes for about 15
minutes at a time, keeping your knee elevated. Do this every four to
six hours the first day or two, and then as often as needed.
Medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers also can help ease knee