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!
The coconut water craze has hit America. But there are truly benefits to this popular tropical plant commonly found in the tropics including Southeast Asia, which is the most common source of coconut water found in grocery and health food store shelves currently.
There is much available literature about coconut water. I encourage you to read further about it.
As there are not many real coconuts to harvest pure coconut water locally, I have to look for that source somewhere else.
GREAT SPORTS HYDRATION
Although it is an acquired taste for some people, not everyone has developed a liking to its taste, however. I personally gravitated to coconut water replacing the more common sports drink that I was used to when playing tennis.
It is my personal experience that using coconut water to hydrate during recreational tennis games, allowed me to last longer and enjoy the sport better. I am by no means a pro tennis player but do enjoy the game as a preferred exercise routine and recreation. I and some colleagues play tennis 2 – times a week, for about 3 – 4 hours at a time. This is after an 8 – 9 hour workday, mind you.
I daresay that coconut water seems to extend my tolerance to all the running and hitting, without getting too sore the next day. It makes getting up early for work the next day easier! I have tried several brands and I do like to share my personal experience with these different brands.
HYDRACOCO BRAND COCONUT WATER
#Hydra Coco caught my attention recently. I browsed through the listing for coconut water on Amazon. (What can I say, I love Amazon!) I am always on the lookout for different brands. I do mind the price and quantity and the convenience of taking it with me to the tennis courts.
This was my first taste of #Hydra Coco coconut water.
Upon reading the labels, it showed 18 grams of sugars and no added sugar. Hmmm. 80 Calories total. Potassium was listed at 376 mg, and even Vitamin C at 18 mg, among others.
What I look for however is products that are NOT FROM CONCENTRATE, and are natural coconut water. Hydra coco definitely met this requirement for me.
The #Hydra Coco package boasts of this product being cholesterol-free, fat-free, Non- GMO, Gluten-free, and containing 5 essential electrolytes. Sounds good to me. WebMD indicated that coconut water can be equivalent to about 4 bananas. I guess I prefer that to munch on 4 bananas just to get through a tennis game. No brainer!
The Packaging: I would say #Hydra Coco’s packaging is very neat. It handled shipping well, at 11.1 fl oz. per can, there are 12 in each box. The design is attractive as well. Very sporty and trendy. Designed very well for sure. Pleasing to the eye.
I took the first gulp and I noticed that indeed, it does not taste sugary; Kind of mild and more natural tasting. Having tasted what fresh from the tree coconut water tastes like, I’d say, this tastes very close to the real deal. It did not have an aftertaste. It did taste better chilled.
It is indeed hydrating and made a big difference when playing tennis. I can handle 3 – 4 hours playing easy. I can usually finish 2 cans of the Hydra Coco coconut water and 2 bottles of water to balance it out. I have experienced no cramps during the game, which usually plague me with regular sports drinks. No soreness the day after either. I’m a fan of coconut water.
#Hydra Coco is manufactured by a small Miami-based company, and I do support smaller and local companies by featuring unbiased reviews of their products if I had a personal experience with them.
I definitely give #Hydra Coco a big👍thumbs up.
– 👍Price (Very reasonable for a 12-can box, $20.99)
– 👍Value (Worth the money for a quality product)
It’s definitely worth a try. I am for sure, will be using this product. Again, this is an independent and personal review and I am in no way affiliated with the manufacturers and Amazon.
If you’ve hurt yourself while exercising, then you know that overuse injuries are a serious issue. However, using these techniques will help you avoid them, so you can exercise without worrying about getting hurt.
·A small strain or sprain can quickly become a bigger issue if you continue to exercise. It’s important to relax and give your body the chance to recover.
3.Do strengthening exercises.Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights can do more than give you bigger muscles.
·Strengthening exercises can help you prevent overuse injuries by giving you stronger muscles and joints that don’t injure as easily. Include them in your regular routines.
4.Do cross-train. It’s dangerous to only do one type of exercise. Cross-training allows you to do several different types of exercises on the same day, so your body gets a more effective workout.
· Cross-training also helps you avoid overuse injuries because you’re putting less stress on one part of your body. For example, you can spend time running on the treadmill to g
et a good leg workout and later lift weights for your arms. This will help you prevent injuries.
5.Be careful with pain medications.Pain medications can help you relieve the symptoms after you get an overuse injury. However, they’re also dangerous if used too often.
·Pain medications can mask the severity of your injuries and put you at risk of getting even more injured. They can encourage you to keep exercising because you’ve lessened the pain and feel like you can continue.
·It’s important to discuss your pain medication use with your doctor and trainer.
·Avoid using the medication as an excuse to keep exercising and hurting yourself.
6.Be mindful of a healthy diet. Your injuries need the right nutrition to heal. Your body supplies the nutrients to your cells, so they can recover.
·Ensure your diet includes the vitamins, minerals, and other components necessary to heal. Avoid junk food such as sugary or salty snacks and focus on vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.
7.Seek help from professionals.If you notice a minor strain or sprain that won’t go away, it may be time to get help. Speak to your trainer, doctor, or physical therapist about the pain you feel.
·You don’t want to hide the pain and pretend you’re fine because this can lead to more injuries.
Exercise shouldn’t leave you in pain and unable to walk for weeks. You can avoid overuse injuries by following these tips.
Nurse Sore Muscles Back to Health With These Home Remedies
Seems like I am on the roll here with sore muscles. I played tennis last night with friends and it seemed to be the topic among the players. This prompted me to do articles, quick and simple steps to nurse these sore muscles back to health!
Sore muscles have plagued us all. Regardless of our age, a stressed muscle can become sore when we start an exercise regimen, perform excessive manual labor, or even stay seated in the same position for too long! These aches and pains can make performing necessary tasks unbearable.
Soothe your aching muscles and nurse them back to health with these natural remedies:
1.Take a break. If your sore muscles are a consequence of overexertion or exercise, continuing the strenuous activity won’t help ease the soreness. Therefore, you should take a break from the routine so your muscles get a chance to recover.
·Muscle soreness from overexertion is the result of microscopic tears in the muscle tissue caused by the stress of the activity. Your body needs time to repair itself.
·If you start to experience soreness or stiffness during an activity, give it a rest. Pace yourself. Stretch sore area gently.
2.Soak in Epsom salt or vinegar. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate and can replace lost magnesium in the body, thus helping to keep the muscles pliable and loose. I especially love the scented ones, lavender. Vinegar is very effective at pulling out lactic acid from the muscles, which contributes to soreness.
3.Use an ice pack. Ice packs are super helpful with sore muscles. If possible, apply an ice pack immediately as soon as you feel the soreness. Keep the ice pack on the sore area for about 20 minutes and then remove it for another 20 minutes. Repeat the process two to three times. This process works great for muscle soreness due to injury too. It can keep bruising to a minimum. Ice helps reduce inflammation and allows your body to repair itself.
4.Get a massage. Usually, muscle stiffness and soreness are also accompanied by restricted blood flow. Get a professional massage. You deserve it. Find deals in your local area. Groupon, Facebook pages, etc. A massage can help stimulate the flow of blood around the sore areas. Here are some helpful tips:
·You don’t need to pay for a professional massage; all you need to do is gently rub the area yourself. Use mechanical massagers of choice. Percussors are also great for deeper tissue massage. Use exercise rollers under the hamstrings, ITB /ITband/Iliotibial band, or the quads/thigh muscles. You can also use a tennis ball over the sore spot.
·Apply this technique right before or after you applied the ice pack and you can get better results.
5.Boost your potassium levels.If you’re susceptible to muscle soreness or stiffness, it’s very possible that your potassium levels are low. You can quickly raise those levels by eating more bananas, which are rich in potassium. Coconut water is a favorite of mine and uses it instead of Gatorade during tennis games. cantaloupes, oranges, apricots, honeydew, grapefruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, peas are just examples of potassium-rich foods. Some dried fruits (dates, prunes, and raisins) also are good sources.
·Drinking lots of water can also help to relieve and prevent stiff, painful muscles.
6.Apply apple cider vinegar.Who knew? Depending on the source of the soreness, you can do either a warm compress or a cold compress. Soaking the compress tool in apple cider vinegar is a great way to extract the lactic acid that contributes to sore muscles.
These simple home remedies are excellent for nursing your sore muscles back to health. Ignoring soreness or disregarding muscle discomfort as something that will eventually fix itself may not be the best idea!
VIDEO ABOVE: A Quick Way to Relieve Sore Muscles Stretching with an Exercise Ball
Make every effort to heal the muscles before getting back into your usual routine. Love your muscles. They serve you!
Working at a desk may look safe, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. While the occupational hazards in an office are different from those at a construction site or hospital, it’s still wise to take some precautions.
A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods, which can include increased risk of heart conditions, diabetes, certain cancers, and weight gain. That’s especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day sitting.
Add job-related stress to the mixture and you can see how the consequences can start to add up.
Learn what steps you can take to counteract the downside of your desk job. Start with these ideas for protecting your health and wellbeing.
Tips for Protecting Your Physical Health:
1.Adjust your posture. Slouching can cut off your circulation and make your lower backache. Try drawing your shoulder blades down and back to open up your chest. A lumbar support pillow may help too.
2.Take frequent breaks. Studies show that moving around about every half hour reduces the negative effects of sitting. In fact, it may be even more effective than regular exercise. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.
Just a few quick stretches you can do to give your backrest, get back circulation to the spine and legs. Sitting for long periods can cause blood clots, leg pain, and muscle stiffness.
STANDING WALL STRETCHES
Stand facing wall. Slide both hands up to the wall as shown, feel your back stretch, imagine like you are lifting your body off your hips. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times as necessary and as tolerated. This gives you a nice stretch and elongation to the torso, relieves compression on your spine especially the discs.
To stretch the sides, slide both hands up about 45 degrees to the left side. Hold for about 5-10 seconds, repeat the movement to the right side. Perform this stretch alternating between the right and the left directions to balance the spine.
Even just a few of these simple stretches can make a difference on your back. I recommend doing these stretches at least every 2- 3 hours/ This is especially if you tend to work 4 hours or more seated.
3.Align your wrists. Typing with a bent wrist could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Rest them occasionally and ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically.
4.Rest your eyes. If your eyes are dry, and your vision is blurred, you may be staring at the computer screen too long. Look away occasionally and do eye exercises like blinking or staring at something in the distance.
5.Stay hydrated.Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for 8 glasses a day.
6.Bring snacks. It’s easier to resist the vending machines when you have a supply of wholesome foods. Good choices include nuts, baby carrots, and hummus.
7.Pack your lunch. Save money and calories by bringing your lunch to work. You can prepare it the night ahead if you tend to run out of time in the morning.
Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health:
8.Make friends. Work buddies increase job satisfaction. Get to know your coworkers and look for common interests. Share stories about your personal life and encourage them to do the same.
9.Connect in person. Face-to-face contact also contributes to stronger relationships. Try dropping by someone’s office instead of sending an email.
10.Wake up early. Do you barely see the sun because you’re inside all day? Rising an hour earlier could enhance your mood and give you more time to work out and eat a hearty breakfast.
11.Use your vacation days. Letting your vacation days go to waste undermines your health and productivity, so time off is beneficial for you and your employer. Even just planning a vacation can lift your spirits, so make a list of your favorite destinations and start researching them.
12.Decorate your space. A cluttered desk can be a source of stress. Find an organizing system that works for you, and put files you rarely use out of sight. While you’re at it, add in a few personal touches and a pretty plant.
13.Focus on helping others. Any job is more meaningful and gratifying if you keep the purpose in mind. When you’re having a rough day, think about the people who benefit from your efforts.
Reduce Pain and Strengthen Your Lower Back With These Easy Tips
Do you suffer from lower back pain? While lower back ailments can feel like the worst kind of torture, you can actually experience lasting relief and perhaps healing by making some easy changes to your routines.
Try these easy strategies to reduce your lower back pain:
2.Wear comfortable shoes. Whether you’re a lover of high heels or flats, there are good choices and not-so-good choices, as your shoes affect your back. You owe it to your lower back – and your entire body for that matter – to shop for shoes that offer complete support.
·When shopping for heels, go with a “reasonable” heel height.
Excessively high shoes put excessive stress on the arch of the foot, which can easily affect the lower back.
·When looking for flats, remember that the sole should have enough cushioning to prevent your back from the shock that comes when the feet are in too close contact with hard ground surfaces.
3.Always stretch after a workout. Stretching after a workout – especially a rigorous one – can loosen the muscles and help realign the back so it is less prone to damage.
4.Support your back in bed. If you’re in bed for eight hours each night, that’s 1/3 of your life spent in bed. Your sleeping posture is probably one of the main reasons you’re experiencing nagging lower back issues. See how your sleeping position can affect your back and use these tips for positive results:
·If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees to support the back and prevent it from becoming strained during long hours of sleep.
·If you sleep on your side, place pillows between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position, which is important for preserving the health of your back.
·Sleeping on your stomach causes the neck and head to twist unnecessarily, which can put undue stress on your back, so it’s wise to avoid this sleeping position as much as possible.
Let these tips reduce your pain.
Making the changes necessary to support your back will enable you to finally achieve the lower back health you’ve been missing out on.
You’ll love the way you feel!
Check this video for easy exercises for your back: