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Cryotherapy has long been used by physical therapists and chiropractors in the management of acute pain. Multiple studies have demonstrated that both ice and topically applied menthol decrease blood flow and help to control pain; however, there has been limited research to determine which form of cryotherapy works better on individual patients.
Bart Bishop, DPT, of Sport and Spine Rehab in Rockville, Md., recently conducted a research study to determine which form of cryotherapy was more effective. In patients with bilateral neck pain, he applied menthol-based Biofreeze Pain Reliever to one side and an ice pack to the other side. "We have used both ice and Biofreeze in our neck patients, but never had any evidence to support using one versus the other," stated Bishop.
The study showed that both modalities reduced pain significantly, but patients preferred the Biofreeze application 8 to 1 compared to ice. The Biofreeze treatment lasted longer in 9 out of 10 patients with twice as much pain reduction compared to ice. The research abstract can be viewed at http://info.thera-bandacademy.com/BiofreezeNeckPain.
"Now that we know how effective Biofreeze is, we are going to continue including it as a standard treatment for neck pain patients and start investigating its effectiveness in other patient populations," added Bishop. "We also think that using Biofreeze can help improve patient compliance and retention as so many more of them felt comfortable with the treatment."
Bishop presented these findings at the 11th annual Thera-Band Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) meeting, held July 25-27, 2009 in Cancun, Mexico. Thirteen international researchers and clinicians met for three days to present and discuss research on Thera-Band® and Biofreeze® products. The diverse group from four countries included physical therapists, occupational therapist, chiropractors, physicians and university professors. TRAC members presented 17 research projects on a variety of topics from EMG to clinical outcomes.
Source: Performance Health / Hygenic Corporation.