Friday, December 18, 2015

Old guy pains... help! SalonPas, KT Tape Pro-X Patches, Zim's Max-Arnice, and CEP Compression Review and Giveaway!

Photo Credit
Well... like it or not, I do get what I call "old guy" pains... not debilitating injury type stuff, but the normal kind of creaky stuff that actually is lessened the more I run, which is great!  Regardless, I am always open to trying out anything that can provide some relief!

So, much like post from a year and a half ago.."Things that make you go aaaahhh..."  this review post is all about things that I have found that can really help!

So, check out my thoughts on the SalonPas products, KT Tape Pro-X patches, Zim's Max-Arnice, and CEP Compression gear... and stick around to win a care/relief package for your pains!

So... first up is Salonpas.  This company has been making pain relief products since 1934, and originally in Japan only.  What is cool about this company is that I remember this well from when I was a kid and my mom would use these patches. My mom is from Japan, and we lived there for a few years as my dad was stationed there in the Navy..

This is how I remember them looking.... but this is what I tried out!

So yeah... a little bit of a change from what I remember.  BUT... what makes Salonpas unique hasn't changed.   Basically, these products use menthol, methyl salicylate, and capsaicin as topical analgesics that bring that icy/hot relief from those old guy aches and pains.  What I like most are the pain relief patches delivery system.  While I was struggling with my chronic back pain for several months, the pain relieving patches with Capsaicin and Menthol were awesome! They came in larger patches that were comfortable, easy to apply, and lasted a long time.. up to 12 hours for me.  They were a lifesaver when I wasn't able to sleep due to the pain I was having.

Anyway, I really loved seeing that this product was still around, and working better than ever.  Be sure to enter below to win the sample selection pictured above for your twinges and aches!

Next up... CEP and some cool compression gear.   Now, if you've been following for a while, you may remember that I really can't run in compression socks, even though I've tried several times and in different gear.  I just get that claustrophobic feeling and my calves are never happy. BUT... I do truly love compression on my lower legs for recovery... works so well.

So, what I tried out from CEP are the Compression Sleeves and the Compression Socks.  Now, to be fair, I did give these a short run, but alas, the sleeves wouldn't work for running, however the socks performed pretty well.  However, I am still an Injinji runner and probably always will be, but the socks fit well, and were comfortable.  They provide some structure/compression to my feet, but not overly so.  The sleeves however have been relegated to recovery only, but for that I like them.  Easy to put on since they are just sleeves and not a full calf sock. Comfortable, and a good quality.

That being said.. someone else in my family seems to have "acquired" these compression sleeves!

My son and I ran the Fall Series with the Pikes Peak Road Runners in Colorado Springs this Fall... and he loves them!   Maybe a little big for him, but he swears they make him faster...  so I guess I may not get these back for recovery purposes!

Ok.. next up to keep you moving and less pained is another product from Zim's.  Back in 2014 you may remember me reviewing a great foot cream and freeze spray from Zim's HERE.  Great stuff...

This time around, I gave the Zim's Max-Arnice a try.  In addition to a 2% Menthol as a topical analgesic, the Max-Arnice also includes Arnica and Aloe.

Aloe, and it's benefits, I knew about, but Arnica was new.  Arnica is a homeopathic herb that has been shown to help with bruising, aches, pain, arthritis, swelling etc...  so you can't go wrong there!

I like this gel as it is not greasy, absorbs well, and is soft on your skin etc.  The folks at Zim's are providing a tube of you to try as well in the giveaway package below..  Thanks Zim's!

Ok.. last but not least, KT Tape ProX Patches!  Those that know me know that on a long run or race, I am usually held together with kinesiology tape!  I love to use Rock Tape and KT Tape because for me, they really work!

What makes the ProX patches cool is that they simplify some applications that require up to two or more strips in normal tape.  I really like these patches on the back of my Achilles as it allows me to get the fit I need without multiple strips.  And they are pre-cut so when combined with the pre-cut strips, makes application quick and easy.   I haven't tried them for particular pain points, but I can see how they would come in handy for that, with each of the "tabs" you can adjust the amount of tension easily where you need it.   Anyway, anything that easily holds my parts on and eases pain during a long run/race is a win in my books...    a pack of 15 pre-cut patches will be on its way to one lucky winner as part of the giveaway below... Thanks KT!

OK!  For any of you out there struggling with nagging aches and pains, I'm hoping any or all of these products will get you back running like Dasher up there...

Be sure to participate via Rafflecopter wing-dingy below for your chance to win a selection of Salonpas, Zim's, and KT Tape products!  I'll run this contest through Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 at 10PM MST.  Open to residents of the U.S. only thanks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for tuning in!  Have a great weekend!

Happy trails!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Give Back, Spread Joy! BackJoy SleepSound Pillow, SitSmart Posture Plus, and Trigger Point Massager Review/Giveaway!

Hey!  It's the holiday season, and that means two things...  the season of giving, and the time of year I mess up my back!

Ugh.. seriously... this time last year, I messed up my back hanging Christmas lights the day after I turned 50!  This year,  managed to do something about 6 weeks earlier... still not sure what it was, but I was out of commission, and not running much, if at all!


Well... thanks to BackJoy products (A super cool Boulder, CO company), I was able to recover last year (check out what I used HERE), and with additional new products, I've managed to recover again and get back on the trail!  So, I can't thank BackJoy enough for making some great products, and allowing me to review/share them with you!  Also, as part of their "Give Back, Spread Joy" campaign, BackJoy is donating $5,000 of pain-relief products to deserving charities on behalf of participating bloggers such as Barefoot Inclined!


So, in addition to the PostureWear Elite compression shirt, RollerBall massager, and SitSmart Posture Plus I used last year, this year I tried out the SleepSound Pillow and Trigger Point Massager! 

But better than that, since it is the season of giving, BackJoy has kindly allowed me to give you one of these packages (pictured above, and a $170+ value!).  So.. stick around to hear my thoughts on each of these, and be sure to enter to win!

First up... the SitSmart Posture Plus...  I used one of these last year, so here's a quick recap of my thoughts (which haven't changed)... nice to have a second one around, and I'm going to have to give it a try in the car!

"For the SitSmart, I initially didn't have a lot of use for it since I have a standing desk for work, and sit very little during the day.  I set it in my wife's office chair and let her use it.  She noted that it did make sitting a bit more comfortable, and she could tell it helped her posture.  However, she did say that it was a bit wide for her, so it is good to note that a smaller version is available as the SitSmart Youth which is great for kids as well.

This one is blue, but I actually now have a red and green one.. how festive!!

I thought it felt good to sit on... and rather than being something that felt weird or forced you to sit a certain way, it felt more like a gentle reminder to sit up properly.  Now, after I hurt my back, that was a different story.  I certainly felt much better sitting down on the SitSmart than I did in any chair without it. With the lower back pain I was experiencing, the SitSmart certainly helped relieve a lot of that!"

Next up is the SleepSound Standard pillow.  This latest back issue I've had has bothered me the most when sleeping, so needless to say, I unpacked this pillow immediately and put it to use!  It seems simple in design, but wow it really has helped. 

The memory foam and contoured cushioning is really awesome.  I am one that alternates between my back and either side, and the design of the pillow allows me just to roll side to side and positions my head in the right area of support.  I noticed relief in my night time back pain immediately.  And now, that I am mostly recovered, I still use the pillow just because it works so great! I no longer spend time fluffing, or wadding to get the support I want.  Love it! 

Finally, it's the crazy looking Trigger Point Massager.  Yeah, I know.. looks like a back scratcher on steroids!  I really wasn't sure what to do with this when I got it, and I even consulted my friend/chiropractor Jane about it.. she highly recommended it and gave it a thumbs up for self management techniques!

So... I know a little about trigger points, especially in my calves to help alleviate Achilles issues.  You know, it's that driving down into those "hurt so good" knots to release tension and break down knotted tissues.  Well the Trigger Point Massager allows me to get to those kinds of places easily on my shoulders, neck and back.  And, the therapy knobs can be used on the feet, calves etc.. anywhere you need to massage or release tense muscles.  Good stuff!  And I can imagine it makes for a wicked Ninja type self defense weapon as well!  (well, ok, maybe not, but it sounds cool)

So there you have it... BackJoy continues to develop products to alleviate back pain and promote great posture!  And, I am thankful to them for allowing me to participate in their Give Back, Spread Joy campaign again this year.   And if you've suffered through yet another one of my lengthy and verbose reviews, you get rewarded with a chance to win a back care package for yourself (or a loved one since it is the giving season... but maybe they will share ;-)  )

Ok.. you all know the drill by now.  I'll run this contest until Saturday December 12th, 2015 at 10PM MST.  To enter, gain entries via the Rafflecopter thing-a-ma-jig below.  Contest is open to residents of the U.S. only (sorry rest of the planet).  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OK!  Thanks again for tuning in. I really do appreciate it.  Stay tuned for more great reviews and giveaways... AND.. I 'm beginning to work on my annual Happy and Healthy Giveaway on January 1, 2016.. and you DON'T want to miss that.... seriously... :-)

Happy Trails!!