This Rub Earned Its Place In My Medicine Cabinet
I'm always on the lookout for something to ease my chronic pain and this rub certainly came to my rescue.
My first serious job was as a line cook. I was passionate about the restaurant business for nearly a decade but the physical toll was too much. I can still feel the busiest kitchen shifts in my wrists, hips, ankles, and the arches of my feet. And because I thought I looked cool doing it, I rode a moped for a few years. After a particularly damaging (and probably overdue) collision, I hung up my helmet for good. Unbelievably, I survived the crash with minimal injuries, but the trauma that accident caused in my knees bothers me to this day. Once, I fell from a four-foot deck directly onto my upper back and neck. Now my left hand tingles every time I push my chin into my chest. Another time, I dislocated my shoulder tumbling down a flight of stairs; the bone I dislocated is still just chilling between my clavicle and rotator cuff, a fully dislocated protrusion.
“I’m looking to relieve chronic pain so I can go about my life and hopefully, maybe, avoid surgery someday.”
What I’m getting at is this: I deal with a spectrum of chronic pain that is vast and varied, and while I don't live in life-robbing, debilitating physical pain, I also don’t doubt how easy it would be to get a pain prescription based on what I just described.
When I use products like Peak Extracts’ Rescue Rub, I’m not looking for something to soothe my muscles after a really intense leg day. I’m looking to relieve chronic pain so I can go about my life and hopefully, maybe, avoid surgery someday. I was able to test Peak Extracts’ Rescue Rub while actively suffering from a tendonitis flare up, some weather-related knee pain, and nasty period cramps—all in the face of a 3,000-word deadline. Don't cry for me, Argentina, this is just another day in the life.
My former workspace was a lap desk from IKEA balanced on my knees, my body sunk into a corner of the couch in a partial fetal crouch, but I’ve recently upgraded. My new desk arrangement is a sophisticated affair that can be used in a sitting or standing position. With this new arrangement, I can alternately relieve pressure from my lower back and my knees. My wrists remain more or less level, and I am able to effectively practice good posture.
But a smart workspace alone couldn't quiet my pain, so at about 500 words, I slathered this topical all over my very tender wrist. My knee, whose pain arrives in an electric bolt that radiates unless I stand like a flamingo or sit in a froggy-style squat, got a similar pea-sized schmear. I massaged two dime-sized dollops into my lower back before placing a heating pad on my chair. When I alternated into a seated position the heat would soothe my hopefully well-medicated lower back. The grassy, citrusy fragrance was a charming bit of aromatherapy that made me forget about my coffee and stress breath, which was a pleasant bonus.
The application, however, was undeniably greasy. The formula relies on shea butter and coconut oil as carriers so it’s no mystery as to why my wrist looked like a sweaty hot dog even after so much deliberate massaging. I sighed in resignation as I pulled my leggings back over my freshly greased knee, knowing an oily transfer was likely inevitable and that it may be a while before the product absorbed completely into my skin. Likewise, my back remained slick with the butter for at least another 500 words (between 30-45 minutes), which would have worried me if I’d been wearing something other than period pajamas.
“It did make the aches more easily manageable, like an inside voice as opposed to a roar.”
Thankfully, before the Rescue Rub had completely absorbed into my skin, the pain in my wrist, back, and knee had quieted. While the rub didn’t completely eliminate my pain, it did make the aches more easily manageable, like an inside voice as opposed to a roar. I finished my pieces and met my deadline. My shitty knee carried me up the stairs from the office to the bedroom and my barely functioning wrist held the handrail. My back didn’t cave in until it was in reach of the bed and, most importantly, I’d hit the 3,000 words. Without the Rescue Rub, I probably would have just said fuck it at 2,500 and slept on the office floor.
Later in the week, I used this topical on my knees, shoulders, wrists, and hips before bed as a preventative measure after a strenuous day cleaning and organizing my basement. It was as effective on that evening as it was the first night of testing. A day of heavy lifting, scrubbing, and jogging up and down stairs definitely would have resulted in painful next-day inflammation and stiffness. Instead, the following day was gratefully lackluster and free from the worst of my chronic pain. I imagine it’d do the same for someone coming down from a really intense leg day, too.
I feel it’s worth noting the US Department of Health and Human Services found an estimated 25.3 million American adults (11.2 percent) experience chronic pain. Complementary modalities like physical therapy and chiropractic care can be instrumental in finding relief, especially if, like me, you want nothing to do with the never-ending loop of prescription pain pills. Adding topicals like this one into a treatment plan that includes alternative care could mean the difference between missing deadlines and sleeping on a basement floor or hitting your due dates and squatting like a greasy frog over your send button before you go to sleep in your own bed upstairs.