Is Biofreeze Better Than Ice?

biofreeze-iceBiofreeze is one of the best OTC pain relievers out in the market.  While you might believe that menthol is the active ingredient that triggers the pain relief as a counterirritant, further investigation shows that the pain relief derives from the stimulating effects the product has on the cold receptors present in the skin.

Immediately after an injury, people are used to applying ice to reduce the pain and inflammation. The effect of Biofreeze can relate a lot to what ice does in these types of cases.  Applying ice on an injury will have a vasoconstrictive effect reducing the blood flow on the affected area. By doing so, the tissue metabolism is slowed down resulting in less swelling.  Due to a counterirritant effect that ice has on the skin, the pain is decreased although at first it might feel like the pain intensifies. Once the injury goes numb, the pain diminishes considerably.

Biofreeze contains 3.5% topical menthol.  This ingredient was put under scrutiny and compared to ice.  Both were also used together to determine what effect they would have on the body.  A total of 19 subjects where administered treatments of Biofreeze, Ice Bags, and both at the same time on their right forearms.  Using a high-resolution ultrasound device, the researches in this case measured the blood flow on the radial artery every 20 minutes of application.  Pain and discomfort were also measured on a 10-point scale.


In the three scenarios, the blood circulation decreased about 15 minutes after the application.  Take a look at the statistics:

Ice: 20% to 24% decrease in blood circulation

Biofreeze: 17% to 24% decrease blood circulation

Biofreeze + Ice: 36% to 39% decrease blood circulation

In terms of discomfort however, Biofreeze decreased the pain a lot more on its own than the other two applications where ice was present.  Through a spinal reflex, the menthol present in Biofreeze is capable of reducing the blood flow so amazingly fast when applied.  The nervous system was also able to adapt to the Biofreeze application so much faster when ice was not applied. Bringing ice into play after the Biofreeze is applied however will enhance the benefits.

Having Biofreeze handy at all times can be a great solution at a time of an acute injury.  As soon as it is applied, vasoconstriction immediately starts delivering great effects that will work against swelling and pain.  Once ice becomes available, applying it will enhance the benefits of Biofreeze.

Discount Medical Supplies has a wide variety of Biofreeze products that come in different sizes but all at great affordable price.