Biofreeze vs. Ice
Ice is the original cold therapy solution. Like Biofreeze, it reduces arterial blood flow to the applied area, while increasing circulation in the skin. There are some disadvantages to ice, however, such as stiffness, skin irritation, temporary pain and numbness, and the fact that it requires inactivity during application. Biofreeze offers the benefits of ice, and more. In a study of Biofreeze vs ice on acute uncomplicated neck pain, Biofreeze was found to be:
- Nearly twice as powerful in relieving pain
- Substantially more comfortable and convenient
- Longer-lasting in 9 out of 10 patients
- Generally preferred
Topical Cold Therapy vs. Oral Pain Relievers
Oral pain relievers are available over-the-counter or by prescription. More and more, people and professionals alike are considering topical analgesics like Biofreeze over oral options, because topical cold therapy pain relievers:
- Offer non-addictive, targeted relief at the point of pain
- Have minimal levels of systemic absorption, meaning a lower risk of systemic toxicity (overdose) or drug interaction
- Are available without a prescription
Cold Therapy Plus Professional Care
Combining the soothing relief of cold therapy with the expert care of a health professional maximizes benefits for people in pain. That’s why we partner with chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists and podiatrists to bring people the best possible results in the office and between visits.
Cold therapy – or “cryotherapy – is the practice of applying something cold to the source of pain. For years, cold therapy has been used to reduce pain, swelling and nerve activity using ice, cold packs, and ice baths. Now, topical cold therapy pain relievers like Biofreeze offer additional benefits.
How Biofreeze Works
Whether it’s an overworked muscle, a chronically achy back or the fitful discomfort of arthritis, pain affects millions of Americans every day. Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to soothe minor muscle and joint pain. It penetrates quickly, offering relief through cold therapy. For this reason, it’s especially effective for use in conjunction with hands-on health care such as chiropractic, massage and physical therapies, and podiatry.
The Gate Control Theory
As outlined in The Science of Pain, special receptors are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain by way of the spinal cord. When Biofreeze is applied to a painful area, it’s thought to create a cold sensation that overrides these pain signals.
Stimulation of Cold Receptors
When Biofreeze is applied, menthol binds with temperature-sensitive receptors in the skin. Activating these receptors is thought to modulate pain signals through the body’s natural pain relieving systems. This mechanism works similarly to ice, but with additional benefits.