A Case for Using Battle Balm Instead of Ice For Acute Injury
May 28, 20156 min read
I'm Dylan, the creator of Battle Balm. Our company is now in its 3rd year and we are steadily growing because of you, our customers! You see the benefits and positive effects that Battle Balm has on your injuries, aches, pains, bruises, etc. Most of our users will confirm that Battle Balm is great for relief from minor aches and pains, but the average customer will not think to use Battle Balm on more serious injuries to witness just how powerful the product is.
As some of you know, I'm an acupuncturist and Chinese medical practioner. I designed Battle Balm to be an all-natural, powerful, herbal pain relief formulation that I could use in my practice or give to my patients to use in their homes. So most of the time, I am treating my acupuncture and massage patients with Battle Balm. It's the only topical that I use in my clinic. Last week, I injured my knee and thus, became my own patient. (BTW, I don't recommend self-treatment or self-diagnosis without also seeking a second opinion.)
I train in martial arts, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). A little over a week ago, I was training in BJJ and my partner turned into my slightly bent right knee. I heard a pop inside my knee and quickly knew I injured something. I finished my bow and arrow choke and stood up. There was moderate pain and a constant throbbing in my knee.
A Perfect Time to Test Battle Balm
I hurt myself on a Monday night and didn't find out that I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) until Friday after x-ray and MRI. The first radiologist looked at my MRI report and stated that my ACL was 75-90% detached. Another radiologist will review the MRI in about a week and give me his findings.
Making lemonade out of lemons, this was the perfect time to be the guinea pig for my own product on a higher level. There was no way that I wasn't going to analyze and document the entire situation and really put my money where my mouth is. Battle Balm took almost 2 years to develop and I was going to see firsthand what it could do in treating serious injury.
Monday - Around 7pm, I heard the pop in my right knee. I went home from BJJ with a bit of a limp. I immediately applied BB Demon Strength (BBDS) to the knee. There was throbbing and pain with sitting, standing, or lying down. Slight swelling on the medial and lateral sides of the knee by the time I went to bed at 10pm.
Tuesday - Upon waking up, I noticed a large amount of swelling in the right knee. No discoloration or bruises on the surrounding tissue. ROM = 15 degrees. Pain with both movement and non-movement. I applied BBDS upon waking and 3 more times in the day, with the last application before bedtime. When upright and mobile, I wore a neoprene sleeve. I estimate to have spent about 7 hours upright...I went to the hospital for x-rays and later to my sports doctor for the results. I had to bring my two small kids with me and they didn't let me sit for much of the day. NOTE: physical tests (anterior/posterior drawer test, Lachman, etc.) were inconclusive as there was too much swelling in the knee. My calf felt tight throughout the day as gravity pulled some swelling downward.
At the end of the day, once the children were in bed, I did 15 minutes of massage to my knee and 15 minutes of stretching of hamstrings. Warm heat was applied for 10 minutes.
Wednesday - The throbbing is gone this morning. Now, there's just a dull ache in the knee. Only spent about 5 hours upright today. Battle Balm DS 4 times throught the day. Around 8pm, swelling seemed to be decreased significantly, knee can bend to 90 degrees ROM with little pain. Instead of one big swollen knee, I can now see specific locations that are inflamed, medial lower and upper lateral are swollen. Painful to touch these areas as well. Massaged calf and knee upwards towards the heart in evening at 10pm, just before bed.
Thursday - Swelling decreased even more overnight. I can bend my knee to 135 degrees with no pain. I can now bear weight on the knee, though not comfortable doing so for too long. Some swelling pushed down into the calf area, Medial side is still swollen. Knee does not feel warm to the touch anymore. I spent about 7 hours upright and wore the neoprene sleeve when walking. I'm using a pronounced limp still, even though I don't have pain when putting all my weight on the leg when standing. BBDS applied upon waking up, before bed, and two more times during the day. 15 minutes of massage to the knee and calf around 10pm, just before bed.
Friday - The swelling is almost entirely gone. It's very difficult to see any difference between right and left knees. I can walk without a limp. There's a small, sharp pain on the medial side of my knee as well as inside my knee if I try to pivot on the right foot. I am trying not to move too fast today. MRI scheduled for the afternoon. I wear the knee brace to keep the knee warm and for some support. Knee does feel unstable during certain movements and occasional pain in walking when I forget that it's injured.
Things to Note
I am not a fan of ice in treating acute injury. As you can see, I didn't use any ice at any point in time for this injury. Yes, ice reduces swelling, but much of that reduction is because it will constrict vessels and reduce blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the local area. Ice also numbs pain sensation and a lot of people think that means that the body is healing. It isn't. Circulation is the one thing that speeds the body's natural healing process. Slowing that process down will make healing take much longer.
Movement is another key area in treating injury properly. I was up and moving my knee the very next day. Granted, I didn't have a choice to sit because my kids wouldn't let me. In a perfect scenario, I would have tried to move my knee as much as I could without pain multiple times a day. Plus, elevating the injured knee above my heart would have probably reduced swelling even faster than the 4 days it took!
Drinking water is another factor. The body is 70% water. I drank loads and loads of water during those 4 days and still drinking more water than I usually do. It seems counter-intuitive to drink more fluids when there's swelling in your body, but the debris from acute injury must exit the body somehow. (We won't go into the mechanism here.) By providing your cells with ample fluids for exchange, you can make sure that hydration isn't slowing the healing down.
Battle Balm Demon Strength was used in this case. It is a topical that is geared more towards acute injury than the other two versions. Plus, BBDS is the strongest version that we currently carry. No other medications were used and none are currently being used.
Yes, I am using my knee in normal activity again. I began using it without favor since Saturday, five days after injury. I have not done any athletic activity since the tear besides punching bag drills and pushups.
I will be getting surgery to repair my ACL. It's a 6-12 month recovery process. I understand that there will be a lot of push for ice to be used during the post-operation rehabilitation phase. I will consult with the physical therapists and will not be using ice for my knee. This will be documented so that our potential customers and users will be aware of the effects of Battle Balm.
I have tried to be as unbiased as possible during this whole event. As a former engineer, I take the data that I collected seriously and looked very objectively at what was happening. The MRI doesn't lie. I also await a second MRI reading to confirm the status of my knee. For those that do not believe that there are products out there better than ice after an acute injury, I implore you to try Battle Balm for yourself and share what you find.
Thursday Evening - Note the swelling around the right knee. The right kneecap is not as pronounced as the left.