We recently purchased this device on Amazon to use for patients we see. There has been quite an influx of patients with neck pain and headaches. This has subsequent complications including muscle spasms or cramping, and headaches. I am always on the lookout for treatment alternatives, practical remedies for pain management.
So here it is. The product name was Cosy Life. There are many brands available but this one was on a limited-time deal. So, I gave it a try.
It came well packaged. Inside included a User Manual, which was great. Many consumers require descriptive instructions on how to use it safely. The product was encased in a nice, velvety pouch, with their brand name on it.
The device itself was, of course, deflated. The inflation valve is similar to that of a blood pressure monitor. You close it to inflate and loosen it up to deflate and let the air out.
Checking out the material of this device, it is indeed a big improvement from earlier models. With the prior versions, you can feel the vinyl cover with sometimes rough edges that scratch your chin. (Indeed yes, I have tried the earlier models before years ago.)
One will readily notice the velvety feel of the material. Even Jessica, my model, noticed this right away.
The straps were long enough to fit a medium size head, like Jessica’s. The Velcro was well sewn, and the top strap had the name-brand patch on it. Very proprietary.
The inflation valve was easy to use. It did not take long before the user can feel the support and bracing action on the neck.
Overall, this was worth the price, and the overall quality was very satisfactory. As you can see in the video, Jessica, a first-time user with chronic neck pain, headaches & spasms was pleased.
She is my unofficial patient from time to time. If it’s not her foot, it’s her neck I have to work on. This is from working at a desk and working the desktop all day.
I did try to use this specific model on a patient with a smaller and shorter neck. As the straps were quite long, the first layer of the device came up all the way to her cheekbones. There was not enough length of the velcro itself to tighten the device.
I would say that this model works best with medium – to large-sized individuals. It is still a great product I would say.
QUALITY – Passed
PRICE – Passed
PACKAGING /BRANDING – Passed
COMFORT OF WEAR & Ease of Use – Passed
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE – Passed
MY OVERALL RATING: 4.5 STARS
HOW TO USE THE INFLATABLE NECK TRACTION DEVICE:
1.Always start slow, gradually increasing tension in 1-minute increments.Inflate to about 25% tension, just enough to feel a lift on your head and jaw. Stop, and leave on for 1 minute.
2. Deflate to halfway down, about 50% tension. Do not deflate all the way. This gives your neck muscles time to adjust to the stretch.
3. After about a minute rest, inflate it again. This time, way past the initial tension you reached. Hold and keep it there, then close the valve. Hold this at this increased tension for another minute. Thereafter, deflate it down to 50% less tension. You should still feel a comfortable stretch.
Repeat the same procedure by inflating the device again. This time, increase tension to the maximum tension you can tolerate. The stretch should be comfortable and not blocking your carotid. (LOL).
You will notice that despite the stretch, you can still speak and breathe comfortably. You can then hold this at this level for 1 – 5 minutes. Deflate to about 25% less tension, let it rest there for about a minute or two. Then inflate it again to that same level. Repeat 4 – 5 times.
I use this protocol with patients and it is well tolerated. Indeed, it is a very useful and helpful device for easing neck pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms.
Personally, I have used this device for my headaches. Once muscles are relaxed, it decreases tension on your intervertebral discs. This also allows better circulation and improved oxygen supply to the head.
Using this device, along with strategic neck exercises and techniques can be very beneficial for neck pain relief.
***Subscribe and get a FREE copy of my NECK TRACTION DEVICE E-Book I put together about these devices. It includes my personalized protocol for its use.
I also featured therapeutic neck exercises and symptom relief strategies I use with patients for managing neck pain.***
Get it here:
If you know of a product you would like to know about and have me check it out, message me. I would be more than happy to feature that in future articles.
(As with any use of a health device, always consult your doctor or physical therapist if the use of such device is appropriate for your specific condition.)
My experience with using Biofreeze as a physical therapist in my practice spans decades. It has been a very helpful tool in my practice. When I was first introduced to the product years ago, this green gooey gel quite lived up to its name: “Freeze”.
Being so excited about trying the product, I used my bare hands during manual therapy treatments to patients at my outpatient clinic years ago. After my third patient and using Biofreeze with my bare hands, I started dropping things. My therapists teased me, “butterfingers”. Indeed, it was hard to feel my hands as they felt frozen! So I knew this thing works indeed!
To make a long story short. I have been using Biofreeze since then. I have seen it work for patients with swollen joints from the inflammation due to arthritis conditions. As Biofreeze indicates on its labels, it is intended for arthritis, sore muscles, and joints.
Almost everyone who comes to the clinic suffers from one or all of those conditions. It is also great for managing edema, swelling, pain, as it has the ability to cool off the skin surface once applied on a warm, inflamed area. Considered a cryotherapy gel, its cooling effect is exceptional.
The reason why Biofreeze works is the Pain Gate Theory:
Pain happens when your receptors send a signal from your spine to your brain. Cold sensations, like menthol, stimulate receptors to block those signals to relieve pain.
Applying Biofreeze to the skin does relieve pain because of this mechanism of the pain gate. Swollen joints from arthritis are usually warm, stiff. I have seen and observed how Biofreeze decreases that temperature in a matter of seconds, usually in as little as 10 seconds. Incredible right?
This is so true with our patients who just had knee surgeries, either an arthroscopic procedure or a knee replacement. These patients usually come in with significant stiffness, pain swelling, as not all of them are diligent with using cold packs at home for symptom control, as instructed.
Before I even start their therapy session, I apply Biofreeze and massage the swollen joint gently: just around the surgical site and even the whole limb if the swelling reaches the ankles. I do this around the dressing of course, not over it.
Applied in an up and down or gentle circular motion, this also allows the better lymphatic flow to the area, allowing trapped water within the skin to get redirected to circulate better along the leg.
I do use nitrile gloves as again, I don’t like my fingers freezing with use. We do see as many as 12 patients or more a day. That’s a lot of Biofreeze applications with bare hands that’s more than enough to freeze any finger. 😁
I find that compliance with therapy improves significantly when pain relief is addressed prior to doing therapeutic exercises during the therapy session. It may also be, that combined with a therapist’s magical hands, the pain relief achieved with Biofreeze is even magnified.👌💁
BIOFREEZE FOR HEADACHES AND NECK PAIN
In my experience, using Biofreeze for headaches also works. Applied to the back of the neck, the base of the skull (occipital region) with manual therapy techniques, it helps calm down headaches, muscle spasms, and neck stiffness.
Just a simple massage to the painful and sore areas, simple pressure on the base of the skull, sides of the head with the fingers, and moving the muscles of the neck and upper trapezius muscles can help eliminate muscle tightness and spasms.
I have used Biofreeze in many more conditions and ailments. I may discuss those at another time. Biofreeze has now many variations of product packaging. It is available in the original gel form, which can be original or colorless.
It is also available as a roll-on and a spray, to suit people’s preferences. They have come up lately with the professional-grade Biofreeze which I felt really seems to have longer-lasting effects.
Biofreeze is indeed a big name for medical and health professionals alike. It is a product that did have longevity due to its effectiveness and the ongoing research to come up with more products. Biofreeze is easily available from sellers and distributors. Amazon does carry Biofreeze products.
As for me, I just know it’s one of the many tools of the trade a physical therapist like me can have. I am all for making patient’s day-to-day life better!
Pain is a signal in your nervous system indicating that something may be wrong. It can be an unpleasant feeling of a burning, throbbing, aching pain such as a pinch, sharp, cramping pain. It can also be a tingling, stinging, or burning sensation that is unpleasant. It can be a very emotional experience as well. It can be just an annoying pain, and at its worst, can be debilitating.
Pain can be caused by intense or damaging stimuli. It can be acute, where duration is limited, and chronic pain where lasts longer and is associated with other health problems and medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritic pain.
Simple Back Pain Relief Exercises using an Exercise Ball
Back pain is the most common condition. facts indicate that over 25 million Americans ages 20 to 65 years suffer from back pain and that billions (more than 50 billion each year) are spent for treatment each year.
No matter where your pain is coming from, if you’re a chronic pain sufferer it can be truly difficult to maintain a healthy day-to-day life. The simplest tasks as sitting, standing, walking, can be an arduous task for the pain sufferer. However, there are many things you can try that may make it easier to cope with the pain.
You might even find that your pain will be lesser with certain strategies that have nothing to do with prescription medications. The mind is a powerful self healer. Once you realize how powerful your mind is, you can teach yourself to cope with pain. Pain doesn’t have to be the focus of your life.
Try the following techniques for dealing with chronic pain:
1.Engage in activities that you find relaxing. Find something that will help you ease and loosen your muscles. No matter what kind of pain you’re experiencing, if you tense up your body, it only makes the pain worse.
2.Meditate and visualize. Grab some alone time so you can engage in meditation. Start by taking deep breaths and clearing your mind. Avoid placing specific focus on your pain even if you’re tempted to do so. Instead, make it a point to visualize pain relief.
3.Use health-related affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to communicate positively with your subconscious. Tell yourself that you’re in good health and that you’ve found pain reduction and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve with just your mind.
4.Try hypnosis. You can enlist the help of a hypnotist or become skilled in the art of self-hypnosis. You can achieve some seemingly impossible feats just by having the proper focusand thought patterns. Hypnosis may use some good health affirmations while your mind is in a relaxed and accepting state.
With hypnosis, you may even begin to feel better before your conscious mind is aware of it!
5.Exercise to strengthen muscles. Depending on the type of pain you’re having, exercise may be able to relieve it. For instance, there are muscles you can work through an exercise that can lessen back pain
For best results, stay on a routine and remember that exercise is usually toughest at the beginning, but it gets easier the more often you do it. Of course, consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
6.Seek and consult with a Physical Therapist. There are many excellent physical therapy treatments that can relieve your pain. A combination of exercises and pain-lessening equipment can bring you great relief. Your physician can refer you to a good physical therapist.
7.Use EFT therapy. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can show you how to remove mental and emotional roadblocks that could be causing or worsening your pain.
EFT can be applied to many aspects of your life, and chronic pain is no exception. There are many online materials available to help you study EFT Therapy.
No one wants to live life in pain, but these simple pain relief strategies can really help you enhance your quality of life.
By taking a holistic approach to your pain, you’re more likely to find a healthy balance and a life filled with greater joy, wellbeing, and happiness!
Headache is a pain that arises from the head or upper cervical region. It generates from structures that include the skull or the cerebrum. The brain itself has no nerves that perceive the sensation of pain.
Bones are covered with a thin layer of tissue (periosteum), while muscles surround the skull, sinuses, eyes, and ears. Meninges arteries, veins, and nerves can get inflamed and cause a headache. The pain could be a dull ache, sharp, throbbing, constant, intermittent, mild, or intense.
Headache or head pain can be hard to detect. Primary symptoms are squeezing steady, constant, unrelenting, or intermittent pain. The area involved can be in one section of the face or skull or can include the entire head. The typical region for pain in the body is the head.
A headache is an indicator of physical stress and emotional distress. It is also the result of specific medical disorders, including migraine, anxiety, depression, and even high blood pressure.
There exist more severe causes of headaches, such as tumors and strokes. Both are relatively rare and are not primary indicators. Discussed herein are the origins of the more classic headache types regularly experienced by sufferers.
Headache can directly cause other problems as well. It can be disabling. Statistics show that it is a common factor in work productivity. Sufferers commonly miss workdays and decrease work performance during work hours. Headaches are the third leading cause of missed school days.
People who suffer from a chronic migraine headache are unable to participate regularly with tasks of daily living. Whether from school or work, missed days and absence is prevalent. Depression can also result due to isolation and inability to participate in social activities.
Headache can be debilitating. What I tackled in this book are alternative strategies to cope with headaches, no matter what the type. As a physical therapist, I also discussed how correcting posture can make a difference in the relaxation of the muscles of the neck, thereby decreasing the tension to the head.
A new phenomenon since the onset of the digital age: Text neck syndrome, and computer screen syndrome. The forward neck of the head forces muscles at the back of the neck to be in constant tension. The head weighs anywhere from 11 lbs. or more, the neck and upper back musculature is not designed to be loaded with this head weight for prolonged periods of time.
Working with patients, I learned a lot. Patients are resilient and the ones who overcome disabilities and impairments are the ones who persist and persevere with the prescribed home exercise program at home.
Little victories of being able to walk without a cane or walker after surgery, someone going back to playing golf, someone able to drive again, is celebrated. Quality of Life. When it is gained, it makes me fulfilled as a clinician.