I saw a commercial the other day that caught my attention.  It was for Aspercreme.  Explaining that “aggravated nerves cause pain.”  And of course Aspercreme is the solution.  Not knocking the product I’m sure it works well.  But it got me thinking….

  1.  What causes irritated/aggravated nerves?  A nerve is irritated when it is compressed.  It can become compressed when it exits the spine, at a joint or by a physical trauma along the nerve itself.  The most common way for a nerve to be irritated is by a subluxation.  This is a rotation of the vertebrae in your spine. Chiropractic adjustments correct this rotation and alleviate pain, inflammation and even neurological deficit.
  2. Does a topical cream correct the irritated nerve?  No.  It masks the condition.  Much like it feels better to rub your elbow after you bump it, topical creams work the same way.  The “open gate theory” states that your brain can only detect one stimulus at a time.  So instead of pain your brain detects the rubbing or the warm or cold feeling the topical creams provide.

The topical creams are effective, we sell Biofreeze at our office, but they don’t fix the problem.  If you are having back or neck pain ice is actually more effective.  Topical creams are great to help you sleep or get through your work day.  If you want real relief you should get adjusted by a chiropractor.  Natural, drug free pain relief.  It’s super cool, give it a try!