In my search for the perfect pain analgesic I did some research on Zim’s Max-Freeze vs Biofreeze and compared them to the highly rated Penetrex reviews on Amazon. Why? Last week I suffered another one of my, vintage, unnerving, wrenchingly painful neck cricks. I don’t know what it is about the holidays, especially the week in between Christmas and New Years, where some of the most painful maladies seem to occur to me; whether it’s a ruptured disc in the neck, gout or a strained lower back, I am always a little apprehensive from Christmas until the time leading up until New Years. Last year I escaped the holidays unscathed, but this year I wasn’t so lucky. At the onset of the neck pain and stiffness, I did the usual treatment of ice, alternating with brief periods of heat and Aleve Pain relievers. Nothing seemed to help the stiffness. By the 2nd day, I was looking for relief and started researching pain cream reviews. Biofreeze and Penextrex reviews consistently ranked very high on Amazon and other websites. Here is what they said:
How do you rate BioFreeze?
362 users of Penetrex ranked the product’s effectiveness as 4.5 out of 5 stars. I thought that was a pretty strong endorsement. I would not have been hesitant to try Penetrex, but only a couple of things bothered me. One, Penetrex does not mask the pain; its claim to fame is that it actually uses chemicals and nutrients to heal the afflicted region. I felt as though I needed instant relief and it didn’t help reading from a couple of users who mentioned that the Penetrex offered them no relief at all. At $20.00 for a 2 ounce bottle I didn’t want to take a chance on being another one of those victims who experienced no relief when it was needed most. I wanted something that worked fast and even if it was only temporary, I would gladly accept that in my current condition.
Penextrex Ingredients:Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM/DMSO2), Vitamin B6, Glucosamine Sulfate, Cetyl Myristoleate, Arnica Montana Extract, Choline Bitartrate, Shea Butter, Boswellia Serrata, Camphor, Purified Water, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Glycerin, Glycerin Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Esters, Steareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Dimethicone, Ammonium, Acryloyl-Dimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. As you can see below, Penetrex includes chemicals as well as natural ingredients and vitamin B. On to the next product
Biofreeze looked to be the most promising for my painful and stiff neck condition and I found out that it was available at Walgreens which is on my way home. The impressive part about Biofreeze is 269 users giving it an average rating of 5 stars. For the most part, users of back, neck, muscular aches and nerve pain said that the Biofreeze gave them instant relief. This is what I was looking for and there was a 4oz bottle of gel available at my local Walgreens store according to their website for $14.99. There was only problem: When I got to Walgreens I discovered a fork in the road. I had a choice to make.
Biofreeze IngredientsActive Ingredients
Menthol USP – 3.1 %Cooling Pain Relief
Carbomer , FD&C Blue #1 , Glycerine USP , Ilex Paraguariensis Extract , Isopropyl Alcohol USP , Propylene Glycol USP , Methyl Paraben , Purified Water , Silicon Dioxide , Triethanolamine
Max-Freeze vs Biofreeze
As I was looking at Walmart a pharmacist led me to the analgesic creams. I told him I was looking for Biofreeze. He quickly grabbed the one bottle left of the Max-freeze and explained to me, “I doubt that we have Biofreeze, but we do have this Max-freeze and handed me the 4oz bottle of gel.” I thanked him, knowing he was probably mistaken since their online website indicated they actually had Biofreeze in stock at this very store. Just 10 seconds later I discovered the Biofreeze right underneath and on the shelf below the Max-freeze. I found it peculiar that the Pharmacist would be so quick to assume they didn’t carry Biofreeze. They had many more bottles of the Biofreeze in stock than of the Max-Freeze. I became a little bit suspicious that the BioFreeze logo was in small letters, preceded by the much larger title, Perform, which ran across the length of the bottle. Was it possible that I wasn’t looking at the same thing when I read the Biofreeze and Penetrex reviews earlier that day? I compared the ingredients of the Max-Freeze vs Biofreeze and found the active ingredients to be the same. Both contain Menthol, but the Max-Freeze is 4.0% vs. just 3.1% of Biofreeze. The Max Freeze also had quite a few more, inactive ingredients, including the Arnica Extract which some users reported to be very effective at treating pain. For a price of $10.99, I decided to gamble on the Max-Freeze and put the two bottles of Biofreeze back on the shelf. If Max-Freeze really worked, I was about to know in 2 minutes – as soon as I got out of the store and into my car.
Max-Freeze IngredientsActive Ingredients
Camphor – 0.2 %Topical Analgesic , Menthol – 3.7 %Topical Analgesic
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Certified organic) , Arnica Montana Extract (Certified organic) , Carbomer , FD&C Blue #1 , FD&C Yellow #10 , Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract (Certified organic) , Isopropyl Alcohol , Methylparaben , Tea Tree Oil , Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate) , Triethanolamine , Water
Does Max-Freeze Really Work?
I eagerly opened the bottle and squeezed the greenish, translucent Max-Freeze Gel onto my hands and rubbed it into my neck. An immediate, icy sensation came over my neck and back and everywhere else on my body that was touched by the gel. I was also relieved to discover that instead of the strong peppermint odor of other analgesic creams like Icy-Hot and Ben-Gay, the Max-Freeze has more of a eucalyptus smell – sort of like Halls Cough drops. Also, the gel does not rub on greasy at all and by the time I got home, the aroma was not over powering. I can honestly say that the Max-Freeze was very effective at loosening up my neck and shoulders and relieving me of some of the pain. On a scale of 1-100 for its effectiveness, I’d rate the Max-Freeze like this:
- Pain Relief: 74
- Relaxation of Muscles: 78
- Soothing: 88
- Overall: 80
I don’t know my personal experience with Max-Freeze compares to Biofreeze or Penetrex reviews , but to be honest, the product works better than I expected it to. No pain reliever or cream is 100% effective for treating severe stiffness and pain, but the Max-Freeze improved my symptoms significantly, if only for a little while.