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Effects of Biofreeze Pain Reliever and Chiropractic Adjustments on Acute Low Back Pain

Low back pain symptoms are extremely common, affecting as much as 80% of the population at some time in their lives.1  Diversified chiropractic adjustment is one of the most frequently used adjusting techniques in the chiropractic management of low back pain.  There is sufficient evidence that diversified adjustment may reduce low back pain.

Biofreeze topical analgesic has also been used as an adjunct therapy in chiropractic management of low back pain.  Topical analgesics are often recommended for minor pain control because of their lower risk of side effects compared to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs.2  However, the pain-reducing effect of Biofreeze products, in conjunction with chiropractic treatment, had not been studied until now.

Thirty-six patients with acute low back pain were randomly assigned to chiropractic only and chiropractic combined with Biofreeze gel application.  The study showed that when combined with chiropractic care, Biofreeze gel significantly reduced low back pain compared to the chiropractic-only group.  There were no significant differences in disability between the groups.3

Menthol, the key ingredient in Biofreeze gel, is thought to reduce pain thought a counter-irritant effect.  When applied to the skin, counter-irritants block the sensation of pain through the Gate Control mechanism.4  Methol may also reduce pain by stimulating cold receptors known as TRPM8, which are involved in pain control.5  The study concluded that Biofreeze combined with chiropractic adjustment showed significant reduction in low back pain.

If you're suffering from low back pain, or know anyone who is, Tulsa chiropractor Dr. Justin Snyder extensively uses Biofreeze to help aide in the pain management of his patients with great success. If you have any questions, or would like to obtain a sample of Biofreeze from Dr. Snyder, please contact Snyder Chiropractic and Acupuncture at 918-749-7772 or visit us online at

1 Macfarlane GJ, Thomas E, Croft PR, Papageorgiou AC, Jayson MI, Silman AJ.  Predictors of early improvement in low back pain amongst consulters to general pactice: the influence of pre-morbid and episode-related factors. Pain 1999;80(1-2):113-9
2 American College of Rheumatology.  Recommendations for the medical management of osetoarthritis of the hip and knee.  Arthritis Rheum. 2000. 43(9):1905-1915
3 Zhang J, Enix D, Snyder B, Giggey K, Tepe R. Effects of Biofreeze and chiropractic adjustments for acute low back pain: a pilot study.  J Chiropractic Med. 2008. 7:59-65
4 Melzack R, Wall PD. Pain mechanisms: a new theory. Science. 1965;150(699):971-9
5 Proudfoot CJ, Garry EM, Cottrell DF, rosie R, Anderson H, Robertson DC, Fleetwood-Walker SM, Mitchell R. Analgesia mediated by the TRPM8 cold receptor in chronic neuropathic pain.  Curr Biol. 2006 Aug 22;16(16):1591-605

April 29, 2011
Team Member

Dr. Justin Snyder