Ok, so you have overworked your muscles- at the gym, gardening, moving furniture- and now you ache. There are many topical pain relief creams and ointments on the market. Some work with heat, others with cold.
The main ingredients in all of these products is either Menthol, Capsican and Camphor.
I have found Biofreeze to be the best topical pain reliever out there. It seems to be the most consistent when it comes to providing pain relief having to do with minor aches and arthritis pain.
It is the #1 recommended cryotherapy (cold therapy) by healthcare professionals.
How does it work?
When pain limits a body’s ability to exercise, the healing process may take longer. Biofreeze helps to break this pain cycle by relieving pain through a method known as “gating.” In “gating” theory, menthol stimulates specific sensory receptors in the skin, thereby blocking other receptors from sending pain signals to the brain. This allows for therapeutic exercise and massage to take place to help the healing process.
Is Biofreeze better than ice?
In a word- Yes!
There have been numerous recent studies that have demonstrated the benefits of using Biofreeze for minor aches and pains, rather than ice.
In one such study, Bart Bishop, DPT, of Sport and Spine Rehab in Rockville, Md., conducted a study to determine which form of cryotherapy works better on individual patients suffering from acute, non-complicated neck pain. His research showed that both modalities reduced pain significantly, but patients preferred the Biofreeze application by an eight-to-one margin over ice. And the Biofreeze treatment lasted longer in nine out of 10 patients, with twice as much pain reduction compared to ice.
Biofreeze comes in a spray, roll-on or gel. My personal preference is the roll-on because of its ease-of-use, and the fact that it goes right onto the affected area without the mess of a gel. Which one you choose just depends on what you prefer.
Where can I get Biofreeze?
Most massage therapists/ physical therapists/ chiropractic offices will carry Biofreeze– and of course, you can always get it at ABQ Massage & Myofascial! But the cheapest place to buy it is on Amazon.
What about heat therapies?
Biofreeze is good, but sometimes your body just needs heat therapy. Here is a list of some of the products on the market that use heat. You can click on any of the links below to purchase through Amazon!
Pros: works well, very strong and long-lasting.
Cons: Can irritate some skin types.
Tiger Balm is an old standby and works by providing heat to the affected area. The big draw back is the strong odor that tends to stay with you.
Stop Pain works pretty well, but seems to be a bit inconsistent with it relief.
Salon Pas are extremely popular. They come in a gel or an easy to use patch. My experience has been that patches and roll-on’s work better and longer. The problem with gels is that they are messy and it is harder to pinpoint the hurting area.
Bottom line: you may have to try different products in order to find what works best for YOU.
SO what is your experience with any of these products? Good or bad- let me know about it in the comments section below!