How Does Biofreeze work?

The field of medicine has seen exponential improvement over the past few years. With better medication and much of them being available over-the-counter, it has become easier to resolve various medical problems at home. Earlier, people had to go out to resolve issues such as muscular pain. However, today, medical-grade products such as Biofreeze have helped people relieve their pain easily. 

What is Biofreeze and When to Use It?

Biofreeze is cryotherapy, which includes using low temperature to release pain and swelling. It is also known as cold therapy and comes in three forms; spray, cream and roll-on. All the forms of Biofreeze are topical analgesics. A topical analgesic means a pain reliever that should be directly applied to the skin.

The first Biofreeze cream was invented in 1991 by a scientist who was looking for a topical medication to relieve his grandmother’s arthritis pain. Over time, different ingredients were added to the cream to meet different requirements.

People use Biofreeze as a pain reliever in their daily life, as it can provide temporary relief from various types of joint and back pain. Some Chiropractors also use Biofreeze during their therapy for muscle relaxation. However, mostly, Biofreeze is used to treat pain due to small injuries or arthritis.

How does Biofreeze work?

Biofreeze works on the rule of Gate Control Theory, where gate refers to the spinal cord. The spinal cord sends signals to the brain so that we can feel pain. However, the gate refers to the ability of the spinal cord to differentiate between small and large types of nerves carrying pain signals. When these signals reach the gate, the spinal cord allows them to pass and be felt.

In some cases, the spinal cord may block pain signals traveling on large fiber to safeguard the human from feeling excessive pain. In this condition, most people feel dizzy or faint. This gate control theory helps us to understand pain, and that it does not generate in muscle or at the point of injury. Rather, it exists due to the brain’s ability to accept it as a pain signal.

Spinal cord. 

Overshadowing Pain Signals

Biofreeze was established by understanding reverse pain stimuli. It works by overriding the pain signals that reach the gate in the form of small and large fibers. The overshadowing of signals creates a loop of replacing every pain signal and tricking the brain into sending back cold sensations.

Biofreeze can also be used for tendonitis.

Cold Receptors Stimulation

Right after the application on the skin, the ligand molecules present in the Biofreeze meet with temperature-sensitive nerve receptors. These receptors respond to the sudden change in temperature by activating a recovery system to create a numbing effect in the area.  

These receptors interfere with the impulse traveling to the brain along with mitigating the pain signals for the spinal cord. As a result, the patient can instantly feel better after the very first application of Biofreeze.

A person feeling back pain. 

How Does Menthol Work

Menthol is the star ingredient of any kind of Biofreeze product. It helps in increasing blood flow to the affected area along with clearing cellular waste. By initiating this process, menthol helps in promoting healthy cell activity. Furthermore, menthol generates a cold sensation in the nerves to replace pain with numbness. Menthol is crucial to helping the person overcome intense pain. 

Does Biofreeze work the same way as icing?

Biofreeze and ice are both forms of cryotherapy. For centuries, people have been using cold therapy to ease pain and swelling and applying ice to the affected area as it is considered one of the most popular methods of cold therapy. However, the Biofreeze application has proven to be a superior and more effective choice.

People use ice to reduce inflammation and swelling from the joints. Although icing has many benefits, it has some major drawbacks too. One of the main drawbacks of icing is a lack of portability, as you cannot carry it around with you. Furthermore, icing can only provide relief for short periods. 

Biofreeze is better than icing in many aspects. It provides more powerful, convenient, and long-lasting pain relief. An additional benefit of using Biofreeze is that it also improves blood circulation and nerve activity. 

Menthol, a primary ingredient in Biofreeze. 

Things to Avoid While Using Biofreeze

Biofreeze is a chemically designed formula that works very closely with our nervous system. It needs to be used precisely as prescribed by the doctors to achieve promising results. Here is a list of things to avoid when using Biofreeze.

  • Never use Biofreeze products if your body temperature is high as it can cause some serious side effects. Moreover, avoid using Biofreeze creams right after or during activities that increase skin temperatures such as bathing, swimming, and exercise. Wait for your skin to cool down before application.
  • Biofreeze is only relevant for external muscle or joint pain. Avoid using it as an internal pain reliever, and as a cure for earache, mouth pain, headache, open wounds, mosquito bite, and burns. 
  • Avoid undergoing Biofreeze techniques with heating pads. Biofreeze creates a cooling effect and combining it with heat can cause some serious nerve injury.
  • You should avoid wrapping or layering the area where Biofreeze is being applied. Doctors suggest covering the area with a loose bandage.
  • Consult a doctor before using Biofreeze if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.
  • Biofreeze is not made to be used on pets and other animals.
  • Biofreeze gel works best on children older than two years. The gel is milder as compared to spray, cream, and roll-on. However, Biofreeze patch, spray, and roll-on can be used on children older than twelve years. 
  • If in any case Biofreeze is accidentally ingested by a child, visit the nearest ER as soon as possible.

Biofreeze works closely with the nervous system. 

Research on Biofreeze 

Biofreeze is approved by the FDA for use in children and adults. More and more doctors are encouraging their patients to avoid oral medication to relieve pain. Doctors are now prescribing non-traditional methods to treat pain, like cryotherapy and chiropractic.

There are several reasons to use Biofreeze instead of other drugs. First, cryotherapy which includes Biofreeze is a non-addictive method to relieve pain. Additionally, it is more effective than other medications, and cryotherapy has a very low risk of overdose.

Recently Biofreeze has been listed as an over-the-counter medication to relieve pain, making it a convenient alternative in treating pain. Many chiropractors use Biofreeze in their standard chiropractic treatment as a supplement to provide instant relief to the areas where they hurt the most.

A study performed by the National Research Center of Denmark suggests that in comparison to other placebo gels available in the market, Biofreeze offers more than 31% positive results in relieving chronic pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Conclusion

We hope that we have answered many of your questions associated with Biofreeze. Keep in mind that you should always use it in small quantities at first. If this does not help, only then should you go for a bigger application. This is because directly applying a large dose of a Biofreeze product will result in an intense sensation which is sometimes intolerable. Besides, the high use of menthol is also discouraged.