By Ed Pavelka
Made in: USA (gel pack), China (wrap)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
RBR advertiser: no
How obtained: sample from company
Tested: 16 times @ 20-30 minutes
Here’s a neat alternative to icing a knee to treat pain, soreness or inflammation. Cold therapy has long been recognized as one of the simplest, safest and most effective remedies for knee maladies.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to ice a bum hinge:
- You can freeze water in small cups and then peel back the paper as you rub your knee and the ice slowly melts.
- You can lay a bag of frozen peas or corn kernels on your knee, reusing until the veggies finally break down and freeze into a solid block.
- You can fill a hot water bottle with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol (which keeps it from freezing solid), then store it in the freezer at the ready.
And the list goes on. I’ve used these and other ways that cost little or nothing. So the question can fairly be asked: Why spend $85 for this new cold-therapy approach called the Moji Knee?
I’ve been using the Moji for a month on a left knee that has had 3 surgeries for cartilage damage (not cycling-related). The knee pains me mildly much of the time. It’s degenerating into the dreaded bone-on-bone condition that may eventually mean around-the-clock pain that only a knee replacement can end.
I’d sure like to avoid that, so for years I’ve iced the kneeafter rides. Well, actually I’ve been known to skip the hassle. I sometimes don’t have the time or inclination to stretch out for 20-30 minutes with a frosty bag or dripping ice.
The Moji ends the excuses. The 18-cell gel pack is kept in the freezer so it’s always ready. It attaches to the fabric wrap with Velcro. The wrap, made of stretchy Polartec, then securely fits around the knee with 4 Velcro straps, providing mild compression as well as cold.
Putting on the Moji takes all of 30 seconds. The wrap and gel pack are flexible enough to let you stand and walk, eliminating the period of immobility that typically comes with icing. While wearing the Moji I can sit at the computer catching up on work neglected while riding, stand in the kitchen to make the evening salad, or even walk across the street to the mailbox.
The Moji gel is plenty cold but not uncomfortably or riskily so. The instructions caution not to leave it on for more than 20 minutes, although the warning is hardly necessary because the gel loses its frigidness during this time. It never freezes rock hard, and it becomes softer and noticeably less cold as the 20 minutes pass (Moji terms it “the cooling profile”). This all but eliminates the risk of frostbite if it’s worn overtime.
This thawing characteristic means you’ll need a second Moji if you want to ice the other knee, perhaps to aid recovery after a stressful ride. If you simply move the gel pack over, it won’t be cold enough to matter. You need to re-freezer it for about 4 hours to bring it back to full effectiveness.
The gel cells — separated as shown for flexibility — wrap the sides of the knee for 270-degree coverage of the joint and surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. When you remove the Moji, the skin is mottled from the individual pads but this effect soon passes. The cold goes deep so the knee continues to feel cool for an hour or so.
Nice attribute: In my experience there was virtually no dampness during a Moji session. Unlike ice that melts or ice bags that get frosty or drip, this product provides cold without making skin or clothes wet.
The website has an “interactive library” with helpful info on sports injuries and cold therapy.
The Moji Knee is convenient, effective and quite comfortable. After 14 uses it shows no signs of wear or tear. The company, however, makes no promises about the longevity of the gel pack. The Moji allows you to do something besides just sit there balancing a bag of ice or frozen corn on your patella.
If you have a knee that can benefit from cold therapy, this product removes the muss and fuss while adding mobility. On in 30 seconds, off even faster, and 20 minutes of ice-cold treatment between.