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.

Arthritis Pain Relief – Hot or Cold?

Feeling the pain of Osteoarthritis? You aren’t alone. Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is expected to increase from approximately 50 million adults today to an estimated 67 million by the year 2030. Why? While obesity and lack of physical activity contribute to the increase of this painful nemesis, the aging population and injuries are the leading culprits.

So what can you do to relieve arthritis pain? Fortunately, today’s arthritis suffers have many pill-free pain management options.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, two of the simplest and most effective methods of relieving arthritis pain are heat and cold therapies.

Applying heat and cold stimulates the natural healing force of the body and can help to mitigate arthritis pain and stiffness.

Heat Therapy - FrozenPeaz

Heat Therapy

Heat works by helping your muscles relax, which can alleviate both pain and stiffness. From a physiological perspective, heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulating blood circulation and reducing muscle spasms. It is also believed that heat alters the sensation of pain. There are two options for heat therapy, dry heat — such as microwavable heating packs or electric heating pads — like FrozenPeaz, or moist heat — such as warm baths or heated wash cloths.


Cold Therapy - FrozenPeazCold Therapy

Alternatively, cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Cold therapy also has a numbing effect on the area, slowing down the pain messages sent to the brain. Additionally, many health care professionals emphasize the importance of people with arthritis staying active. Cold therapy can be an important element of post workout recovery as it also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation that may follow physical activity.

Which is Better, Hot or Cold Therapy?

Many experts, like Girish Padmanabhan, clinical director of outpatient rehab at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., strongly believe that heat works better than cold for people with osteoarthritis pain. Others, like the Mayo Clinic, recommend a combination of heat and cold treatments to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis. “Fortunately for arthritis sufferers, many of todays most popular options provide both hot and cold therapy relief in a single product”, noted MaryCarol Dolivier, founder of FrozenPeaz hot and cold therapy wraps.

Which FrozenPeaz® products are best for treating joint pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis?

  • Arthritis Knee Pain: The Large Joint Wrap provides circumferential coverage for many PEA-ple. You may also want to try the extension wrap to add an extra 6″ of hot or cold therapy relief.
  • Lower Back Pain: The Large Joint Wrap also provides great coverage for lower back pain. Similar to the Large Joint Wrap for the knee, you may also want to try the Large Joint Extension Wrap to add an extra 6″ of coverage.
  • Arthritis Hip Pain: The Large Joint Wrap is 18″ long and can be able to be applied to the hip area for hot or cold therapy relief.
  • Neck/Shoulder Pain: The Neck & Shoulder Wrap is specifically contoured to provide relief to the neck and shoulder area.
  • Arthritis Pain in Fingers or Hands: Many PEA-ple like the wrap around coverage of the Small Joint Wrap for hands and writs. Other PEA-ple prefer to rest their wrist or hand on the Eye/Face Wrap.

Arthritis Foundation

Looking After Your New Knee

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!

Rotator Cuff or Shoulder Pain – Apply Ice or Heat

Your shoulders are the most movable joints in your body. It is also one of the most unstable, making it prone to injury. Common shoulder injuries include: sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendinitis, bursitis, torn rotator cuffs, frozen shoulder, fractures and arthritis.

The good news… Most shoulder injuries can be effectively treated at home with the RICE protocol.

FrozenPeaz® Large Joint Wrap provides front and back HOT or COLD therapy for shoulder injuries. Here’s how to use the Large Joint Wrap to treat a sore shoulder.

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