Pain Relief with sports cream or an ice pack?

All of us over do it at one time or another. Weekend warrior in the yard or in the game. Training for a marathon or triathlon. Or just slept the wrong way and have a stiff neck. You are in pain and you want joint pain relief. Reluctant to pop another pill, you want natural pain relief. Your choice is between an over-the-counter joint cream or an ice pack. Which is more effective?

How sports creams work

The cool feelings from topical pain relievers, like IcyHot or BioFreeze, comes from the interaction of the menthol and the skin. Muscle cream is part of a class of treatment called counterirritants, which work by tricking the body into feeling sensations other than pain. Once applied to the skin, the product creates a series of chemical reactions that help temporarily relieve any pain in the area.

In a recent New York Times article, Ed Ryan, former director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee commented that, “From a physiological standpoint, there’s very little benefit that occurs in the tissue where you’re applying a cream.” He went on to say that creams, “Don’t cause a change to occur that would result in any pain decrease or any physiological change that would hasten healing.”

The bottom line, although these creams may help to temporarily mask the pain sensations, topical creams and gels do not help the body to reduce inflammation or muscle spasms.

How an ice pack works

 

According to the Sports Injury Clinic applying a cold pack to an injury or inflamed muscle offers several benefits and effects, namely to reduce any internal bleeding and swelling. Swelling is caused by fluids concentrating around the area that is inflamed (damaged tissue) due to direct trauma. The cold pack helps to control the rate of inflammation. Top of most peoples mind is pain relief. Applying cold will numb the area, providing the necessary pain relief. As the cold continues to penetrate, the cold therapy acts to reduce muscle spasms and decrease the metabolic rate, reducing the oxygen requirements of the injured cells. These physiological changes may help to accelerate the healing process.

While icing is a great start, combining a cold pack with a compression wrap like FrozenPeaz provides improved skin contact and enables to the cooling benefits to penetrate deeper into the muscle tissue. The injured area reaches its lowest temperature faster and the tissue maintains its cool even after treatment ends.

So which is best?

While a muscle cream might help mask the pain if your are unable to ice, applying cold therapy with compression results in physiological effects that help the body not only with pain pain relief but also a recover faster.

Looking After Your New Knee

Knee Pain - Ice with FrozenPeaz

Looking After Your New Knee

If you or someone you love is preparing for knee surgery, proper after care and rehabilitation at home are essential to recovery.

Heading Home

During your stay in hospital, a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen your knee. You can usually begin these the day after your operation.

The exercises your physiotherapist gives you are an important part of your recovery. It’s essential you continue with them once you’re at home.

It’s normal to experience initial discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen. Be sure to have a FrozenPeaz cold therapy pack in the freezer and ready for use. Cold therapy will help relieve pain and reduce post-surgery swelling and inflammation.

Don’t be surprised if you feel extremely tired at first. You’ve had a major operation and muscles and tissues surrounding your new knee will take time to heal. Follow the advice of the surgical team and call your doctor if you have any particular worries or queries.

You should be able to stop using your crutches and resume normal leisure activities approximately six weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to three months for pain and swelling to settle down. Continue to ice your new knee any time there is pain or swelling.

Recovery Tips for Knee Replacement

  • Road to RecoveryRaise your leg when sitting and use FrozenPeaz ice packs to help with any swelling
  • Use crutches or other walking aids but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
  • Keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness and strengthen your knee
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed for six weeks after your operation
  • Do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as this can result in a permanently bent knee
  • Avoid twisting at your knee
  • Wear supportive outdoor shoes
  • Do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
  • Listen to your body daily.

All individuals and knee surgeries are different.

People progress at different rates and heal at their own time. Be patient with yourself. Continue to rest and ice with FrozenPeaz frequently. Give yourself praise for the accomplishments you make along the way.



Why Pick Peaz?

FrozenPeaz_LgJoint_Use_Combo2Having the right equipment to REDUCE YOUR RECOVERY time after an injury or surgery can dramatically improve your recovery time. The FrozenPeaz Large Joint Wrap is the ideal wrap for post knee surgery recovery. The standard wrap delivers full, circumferential coverage for your new knee (approximately 21″). Need a little extra length? Try the Large Joint Extension Wrap for additional coverage (approximately 28″).

Better than blue gels and packs you may see elsewhere, FrozenPeaz stay FLEXIBLE down to 0ºF. And the insulating wrap provides customizable, hands-free compression. What’s more… all FrozenPeaz products are NATURAL. NON-Toxic. Reusable. And able to provide both ICY COOL RELIEF (out of the freezer) or SOOTHING HEAT THERAPY (out of the microwave or hot water bath). Relieve Pain. Reduce Swelling. And Recover Faster with all natural FrozenPeaz!

Is Your Healthy Eating Causing Protein Deficiency?

I eat lots of fresh vegetables. Drink Kefir. Try to limit my intake of processed foods. Enjoy fish or chicken on what I thought was a regular basis. Sounds good. Right?

Imagine my surprise when my annual blood work indicated a protein deficiency. Fortunately, my levels are not too bad yet and with some attention to sources of protein in my daily diet, I’ll be back on track.

In addition to the usual suspects like tofu and quinoa, here are a few surprising sources of non-meat protein:

Peas: It’s true! Now that you aren’t using your peas as a cold pack, put them back on the dinner table. Each half-cup contains three and a half grams of protein.

Spinach: There are three grams of protein in a half cup of spinach. Try adding spinach to your smoothy or salad.

Brussels Sprouts: Each half cup contains two grams of protein. Brussels Sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K

One final note, unlike meat, many plant proteins are ‘incomplete’ proteins, meaning they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Be sure to combine vegetable proteins with whole grains and eat a variety of plant protein sources.

5 NATURAL Ways to Relieve Muscle Soreness

A personal trainer and journalist for Florida International University, Nihat Strider, offers 5 Tips to Relieve Muscle Soreness.

  1. Keep Moving: Light physical movements increase blood flow to the affected areas – helping to relieve pain. For whole body soreness, try light stretching or a yoga class.
  2. Hot/Cold: Alternating hot/cold therapy packs or hot/cold water in the shower helps your body’s natural anti-inflammatory response – increased circulation.
  3. Pop a pill: Instead of a pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory like Alieve, try Curcumin an ancient Indian spice that reduces inflammation.
  4. H2O: Drink more water before and during exercise.
  5. Rub it Out: From a massage therapist to at home remedies like a foam roller, massage helps to release the knots in your muscles and increase blood flow.

For all of Nihat’s tips, check out her full post.