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Guest Makayla

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Guest Makayla


Alright, I have achillies tendonitis and am supposed to ice it after each class. I have just discovered this gel called "Cold Ice Therapy" or something like that. There's not much information on the bottle (its my parents and they dont know my question's answer either). It only says to relief sore muscles and so much more! lol :( I think maybe it came in a box which was thrown out. Anyways, My question is, is Ice gel a replacement for icing? Would it reduce inflammation just like a pack of ice would?

(I hope so, for it would be so much easier to carry with me to class to use afterwards)


Input would be greatly appreciated :)


PS- What about Tiger Balm? I dont know if this is sold anywhere by in Atlantic Canada (my area) but it is expensive and seems more proffessional than the bottle I have. I have used it once on my temples for a headache.. haha I dont think thats what it's for though ;) but it worked!

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If it's what I think it is, put it in the freezer for a few hours until it gets nice and cold and apply it to the injured area just like an ice pack. There is, however, the chance that it's just a one-time use emergency cold pack that won't rechill. If it's full of gel, it's the former kind, if it's full of crystals, it's the latter, and you'll have to get a new one every time you need a cold pack. The gel packs are much more economical than the latter, but the latter come in handy because you can carry them anywhere before activating them chemically.


Tiger balm is a much different animal. It doesn't have any heat or cold of its own, as it is a counterirritant, or rubrifacient, which stimulates blood flow to an injured area, and causes such a "burn" on the outside, that you don't feel the ouch on the inside! You may use it, if you like, just like any other liniment or sports rub. Just watch it - the strongest formulation is 51% active ingredient. Ben-Gay is about 10!

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Guest Makayla

Well, the ice stuff I have is not a pack, I believe it is the same thing as tiger balm, except it is in a squeeze bottle.

I'm not sure if what you said about tiger balm means it would not be a replacement for a real ice pack or not, but I'm pretty sure that's what you meant, am I right?


Thank you for the info about the latter and gel packs! I didn't know about the latter packs, I think I'll look into them and see how much they cost :( They seem very helpful and easy.


Thanks for your information Major Mel!

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Uh...Makayla..."latter" just means "the second one mentioned". Those packs I mentioned second are sometimes sold as "Instant Cold Compresses". And this stuff you've got sounds like it might be a liniment not unlike Icy Hot, which you're supposed to chill in the refrigerator first, then apply. It works whether you do that or not, and the cold application doesn't last long enough to be an effective anti-inflammatory. No liniment or sports rub replaces a cold or a hot pack!

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Guest Makayla

:eek: hahaha

Sorry :( I didn't know what 'latter' meant so I thought it must have been the cold pack :) haha


Thanks again Major Mel!


I'll stick to my ice packs... or my "latter" packs.. I mean instant cold compresses ;)

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Feel free to remove this if you feel it is inappropriate.


You might want to talk to your doctor before trying different types of cold packs or gel packs. See what he or she recomends as the best product for your case. I have tendonitis and some gel-filled cold packs actually aggravate it! This is because they can sometimes freeze to a much lower temperature than ice.

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Not inappropriate, but in using any of these gelpacs, it's best to have them wrapped in some sort of thin cloth when applying them, whether hot or cold.

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I just wanted to add that, in my experience, the instant cold compresses don't stay cold very long, which makes them basically ineffective. I'm a total klutz in PE and manage to get hit pretty often so I have a lot of contact with them. I've found that they usually stay nice and cold for about 5 minutes (at most) and then you have to shake them up ever two seconds after that or they don't work. I'm sure there are better kinds out there then the ones I've used, but I wanted to add that it's probably more worth the money to use a gel filled one and put it in a little insulated lunch box to take to class.


P.S. A very low cost alternative for when you are at home is to use a bag of frozen peas or corn!

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A cold or hot application doesn't have to stay on very long to be effective. Five minutes is too short, you're right, but a minimum is only ten minutes, and I've used some types which have stayed cold that long. Keep a cold or hot pack on for more than fifteen minutes, and the body starts to act to counteract the effect by shutting down or opening up blood vessels, so that by twenty minutes, all effectiveness in the area to be treated is lost.

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Guest pavlovadancer

I know this is kind of off-topic, so feel free to delete it if necessary. :) Anyway, I just wanted to say that Axe Oil, if they have it in the States, works much better than tiger balm for the relief of headahces. What I noticed about tiger balm is that it just provides a "distraction" from the pain/itch/etc, not a cure. I believe cold compresses or ice work better for injuries as they prevent swelling. I don't think tiger balm does that. However, feel free to correct that if I am wrong. Tiger balm and axe oil are both very cheap in Singapore, so if you ever make a stop down here, check out a Guardian or a Mama shop (i.e. a stall from the "old days" generally manned by a old Indian fella, something like ancient 7-11). :)

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Thanks for the additional information.


I don't believe I've ever seen Axe Oil available in the States, but then, I lead a rather sheltered existence!;) I'll have to check with some of my "herbs and oils" sources!:)

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Guest barnbaby

I rely on the stuff itself--ice, that is--for injury relief. I'm a superveteran of achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains and various ailments of the ankles and feet. I think I've had my feet in a bucket of ice water for about a third of my life! Hey, it may be less pleasant than a handy dandy lotion, but a good bucket of ice water really does the trick.


I ice my feet almost every day after ballet regardless of injury just because I've gotten so used to it that it's actually an enjoyable experience. My feet are always swollen and a little painful after a good three or four hours of ballet, so it's always a relief to get a little of that therapeutic numbness in there somewhere. I usually just dump some ice cubes in a big tub of cold water, but lately I've been using up all the ice in our fridge so my mom has been freezing big paper cups full of ice so that I can just dunk a few of them in and sit for a while. That's what they almost always did at physical therapy for my silly injured feet.


When my ankle troubles first started to get bad a couple years ago, a number of my teachers recommended a hot-cold treatment after class. I'm not sure of how medically accurate the advice is, and it's not a pleasant process, but it does help injuries to feel better faster. Basically, you have your feet in ice water for 10 minutes, then you switch to hot water for 10, then cold for 5, hot for 5, and so on until you get really sick of it (end the process in ice for at least 5 minutes). The cold water helps to reduce swelling, and the hot water helps to increase blood flow.


Lately I've been having little twinges of pain in my left ankle, especially en pointe, so I rely on my trusty Tiger Balm for that. I really like the stuff, except that it turns my tights yellow sometimes! Haha!! I've heard that Biofreeze is a really good alternative to Icy Hot, Tiger Balm and the like. I've only seen Biofreeze available for purchase at physical therapy offices.


Lastly, I must state the cardinal rules of injury treatment and prevention: RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Good luck, have fun!

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Hi, Sarah, and welcome to the Young Dancers' forum here at Ballet Talk on Ballet Alert! Online!:)


The procedure you've described is called "contrast application" and doesn't necessarily have to end with cold. Just use it until the treated area feels better. Its use should be limited to the time after the acute phase of an injury - that is, after about 72 hours.


Tiger Balm comes in several different formulations, one of which is white/colorless, so you might look for that.

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