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So, what is a counter-irritant anyway?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Have you ever had a headache and then stubbed your toe and the headache went away? Well, my friends, that is an example of a counterirritant. Counterirritants override the dull ache of chronic pain. While we certainly don’t recommend stubbing your toe to get rid of your pain, we do recommend a gentler approach of a topical pain relief cream like Center 4 Self-Care’s Pain Potion. Counterirritants work by disrupting the pain-spasm-pain cycle. Simply put, when we experience pain, our body’s muscular system reacts by contracting to guard from what it perceives as a vulnerability in the area. This contraction creates a waste product which irritates surrounding sensory nerve endings. Sensory nerves bring information to the spinal cord. Once this information gets to the spinal cord, the spinal cord makes a decision which is often one of protecting the body. The way the muscular system protects itself is by guarding. So the muscle contracts to guard, creates a waste product, irritates the nerve endings, which sends a signal to the spinal cord, which sends a signal back to the muscles to contract, dumping waste products, irritating nerve endings… you get the idea. Our sensory nerves – nerves that take information toward the central nervous system (CNS) – are like a two-lane highway: one lane is slower and one is faster. The slow lane is occupied by the chronic dull aches that seem to hover quietly all day long, not really inhibiting the bulk of your life but definitely slowing you down and draining more of your battery than usual. The fast lane belongs to acute sensations: cold, hot, pressure, startle. Interestingly, as that two-lane highway approaches your spinal cord there is a gate-like mechanism where only one signal gets processed at a time (aptly referred to as the Gate-Control Theory). As you might guess, the fast signal gets to the gate first. So now there is a break in that vicious pain-spasm-pain cycle. Sometimes that’s all it takes to bring that dull chronic ache down a few notches, and maybe even get rid of it altogether. In essence, counter irritants distract you from pain, interrupting the pain-spasm-pain cycle. This is a VERY effective technique and one that is super easy and inexpensive to DIY. Most topical pain relief products contain this very effective mechanism. Pain Potion is formulated not only to have the most effective counterirritant available, but also has a unique blend of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Click here for the full list of ingredients that make Pain Potion the best in super-natural pain relief. Use it, feel better.



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