Category Archives: rheumatoid arthritis

Topical Analgesic Review

Topical Analgesic Product Review for Biofreeze, Cryoderm, and Sombra products

Biofreeze image

Biofreeze:

If you have ever been to a chiropractor or sports medicine clinic I am sure you have seen or heard of Biofreeze.

They have several products including gel, roll-on, and a 360 degree spray. The products are easily found for purchase at most chiropractic clinics, sports medicine clinics, and various spas.

The 360 spray is by far their best product, easy to apply even to your own back with a spray can that works even when held upside down.

The roll-on is simple to use for those areas that you can easily reach but due to direct contact with the skin it should only be used on one person.

Gel is the most common products that is used in most chiropractic clinics. For me personally this is my least favorite product to use in massage because the gel eventually balls up while I am working the area (the same can be said for gels from other companies as well,) however, it does provide a cooling sensation and helps aid in the relaxation of the effected muscles.

Pros:

Easy to obtain at various distributors, easy to use, temporary cooling effect and muscle pain relief.

Cons:

Not long lasting, smells like medicated alcohol, gel balls up with rubbing.

Now, onto my two personal favorites!

cryoderm image

Cryoderm:

I had never heard of Cryoderm products until I was introduced to them at the World Massage Festival. They have a number of products ranging from lotions, sprays, roll-ons, gels, and also heat therapy products.

The cooling effect lasts for several hours and far outlasts Biofreeze.

The heating products contain Capsaicin and provide lasting heat sensation, in fact much hotter than expected. This product might be a bit too much for anyone who is sensitive to hot peppers, but it definitely does exactly what it intends to do!

Pros;

Long lasting cooling or heating, effective muscle pain relief, never tested on animals.

Cons:

Heat therapy may be too hot for some people, strong medicinal scent.

If you like Biofreeze you will love Cryoderm.
sombra products image

Sombra:

What is not to love about Sombra? It has a more pleasant smell than the other products, comes in cooling, heating, and even a soothing lemon version.This also comes in a handy roll-on version as well as lotions, creams, and gels.

The cooling effect is effective but not overpowering, the heating effect is subtle but warming. The heating product also contains Capsaicin but is not as intensely hot as the Cryoderm Heat products. A nice happy medium that is long lasting and smells wonderful!

Pros:

Long lasting heat or cooling, pleasant scent, also comes in a soothing lemon scent.

Cons:

I cannot think of any cons.

http://www.sombrausa.com/

 

In summary:

My personal favorite if I want a powerhouse of an analgesic I prefer Cryoderm products, but if I am looking for an effective yet soothing option I prefer to use Sombra products. Biofreeze is good but if given a choice between them all I know which products I would prefer to use for my clients.

It is also very important to mention that no matter which of these products you use always remember to thoroughly wash your hands before touching your face, eyes, or other areas where the heating or cooling sensation might be problematic, I can assure you from first hand experience that getting these products in your eye is not a pleasant experience.

(I was not paid by any of these companies to write this review, the opinions expressed here are from my personal experience with the three products mentioned.) 

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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Before Diagnosing Yourself With Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

One thing I hear a lot from clients is “I think I have Carpel Tunnel” my first response is usually “Any tingling or numbness?” and most often they reply “no.” Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is  a condition in which the median nerve of the wrist becomes compressed or pinched causing numbness and tingling along with other symptoms including muscle weakness of the hand and arm.

Because this condition became so widely talked about as a workplace injury that effects many people working with machinery or computers it is common for people to assume that any wrist pain or stiffness may be Carpel Tunnel, that is not always the case.

Many conditions can mimic Carpel Tunnel, so it is always best to speak with your doctor if you are having symptoms of numbness, pain, and weakness of the muscles as they may be symptoms of something more serious.

http://www.thecarpeltunnel.com/youreallyhavecarpaltunnelsyndrome

diagnosis can be difficult since so many other conditions mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One of the most common includes “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome,” which is the compression of nerves or blood vessels in the brachial plexus – the nerve fibers running from the spine through the neck, armpit and into the arm.

Another is “Cubital Outlet Syndrome,” the compression of a key nerve in the elbow. Also high on the list of conditions which mimic Carpel Tunnel Syndrome(CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)) are tendinitis and arthritis.
Then, there’s “Guyon’s Canal Syndrome,” which is similar. It, too, results from overuse of the wrist from heavy gripping, twisting, and repeated wrist and hand motions. It can also happen from working with the hand constantly bent down and outward. It occurs in weight-lifters, jackhammer operators and people using crutches.

The symptoms should sound familiar.
The sufferer has the sensation of pins and needles in the ring and little fingers, often in the early morning. As the problem worsens, it may develop into a burning pain in the hand and wrist, followed by numbness in the affected fingers. The patient may become weak and clumsy when trying to pinch the thumb and forefinger or spread all five fingers.

Then there are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fiber myalgia. None of them should be ignored. Untreated lupus can lead to kidney failure. Untreated rheumatoid arthritis will worsen with serious damage to joints and bones.

Rheumatoid arthritis’ symptoms include tenderness and swelling around the joints – as well as increasing pain, fever, redness, fatigue and weight loss.

Lupus has many of the same warning signs, particularly joint pain. However, lupus patients also experience facial rashes, mouth sores, bruising, chest pain and breathing difficulty. Other diseases that mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, dislocations and gout.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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Massage for stress and pain reduction

We have long known that massage is good for stress reduction, this claim is backed by science.

In this article posted by the US National Library of Medicine a study revealed that after a massage “Cortisol (stress hormone) levels decreased by an average of 31% and Serotonin and Dopamine levels rose an average of 28% and 31% respectively.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162447

 

Many conditions such as fibromyalgia present themselves with low levels of serotonin, parkinsons presents with low dopamine. The study suggests that massage may benefit many medical conditions. As we know serotonin and dopamine are used in medications for neurological pain conditions and in antidepressants.

The implications of the study backs up other studies that have shown massage to be of benefit in many chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and could possibly help with depression and anxiety.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

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What is Adaptive Touch?

What is Adaptive Touch?

It is the name I created in business class back in college and it is an expression of what I do. My massages are tailored to the specific needs of each individual client and my approach is adaptive to those needs, it is what I am and what I do, it is not the name of a business (yet.)

My technique is an integrated combination of Swedish mixed with therapeutic firm to deep tissue and sports massage that varies depending on the specific needs and concerns of my client.

In my time as a Massage Therapist I have worked for chiropractors, spas, and private clients. I have worked with clients both young and old to heal from work related injuries, sports injuries, auto accidents, auto immune disorders, and chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and polymyositis.

Helping others to feel better and reduce their pain is a passion of mine, my greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the results of the work that I do.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

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