Category Archives: Product Reviews

NatraCure Product Review, Part 2

If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

Natracure Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. $10.99. natracure.com

Natracure Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. $10.99. natracure.com

As I mentioned in the link above, I am a woman who wears many hats. Since I spend a majority of each day on my feet, I need tools that will help me remain as comfortable as possible. It’s been pretty difficult trying to accomplish this goal.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using NatraCure’s Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. This handy little wrap has a built in pad that sits under the arch of your foot. Up until now I’ve been using ace bandages to wrap my feet, which comes with its own set of problems. Ace bandages are bulky and hard to keep in place (especially when it’s so easy to lose those little clip thingys). The Plantar Fasciitis wrap fits comfortably in my sneaker without cutting off my circulation, while the velcro on the wrap makes it easier to put on and adjust when needed.

It took me a couple of tries before I could put the wrap on comfortably. I was having trouble aligning the cushion with my foot so that I couldn’t feel it when I walked. I find that I’m more comfortable when the wrap is put on over my socks, rather than against my skin. I had to adjust it a few times throughout the day, but eventually I got used to the feeling of the pad. And, obviously, this wrap isn’t discreet enough to wear with my summer attire, but that’s not a huge issue. While I would love for NatraCure to improve on the design and possibly make the wrap even thinner, this is my new favorite remedy for my terrible feet.

 

Advertisements

NatraCure Product Review, Part 1

RA is merciless when it comes to feet. When my disease was active my feet would become twice their size, which I tended to not realize until my socks started cutting off my circulation or I couldn’t get my shoes on.

Despite my remission and the overall improvement in my health, my feet have continued to be a source of never ending frustration, with burning and throbbing sensations becoming a constant. I can’t say I’m surprised though. According to my Fitbit, I’m averaging 12,000 steps on a slow day and as high as 15,000 on a normal day. As an elementary school teacher, I rarely ever sit down at my desk. This is all before yoga 4 times a week and the occasional hour on the elliptical or doing Zumba or running at the park. I take every opportunity I can to be active because I never know if/when my RA is going to come back with a vengeance. Regardless of how much I try to take it easy, my feet aren’t appreciative of my gesture.

I’ve tried ace bandage wraps, ankle braces, athletic tape, and Epsom salt soaks. I’ve tried wearing only one specific shoe to work and wearing nothing but sneakers on nights and weekends. There hasn’t been a high heel in my closet in over two years. These things have definitely helped manage the discomfort level, but I was still searching for something more immediate and effective.

A few weeks ago a representative from PolyGel contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to write some product reviews. PolyGel has a line of natural orthopedic gel products under the name NatraCure. Until recently, these products were only available through the medical professional market, but PolyGel is now makeing NatraCure products available to general consumers. While the line contains products to help with pain in many areas of the body, I requested to try products for my feet.

Today I’m going to review the Cold Therapy Socks. But first, I’d like to point out that I wasn’t paid to write this review. PolyGel did send me the products, but it was with the agreement that I would be completely honest with my readers.

The socks have three separate compartments and come with two removable gel packs per sock. One large gel pack is meant to sit below your foot. The smaller pack can either go in the pocket over your toes or in the one behind your heel.

NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks. $20.99. natracure.com

NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks. $20.99. natracure.com

You place the socks (with the gel packs in place) in the freezer for at least 2 hours. The socks are not meant to be walked on, so I grabbed a book and headed to the couch to relax.

At first I was skeptical that these would work, because cold therapy has never really been my thing. I prefer using heat to manage my RA pain because I’m extra sensitive to cold temperatures. I put the Cold Socks over my regular pair of socks to play it safe. Honestly, I probably never would have kept them on if I hadn’t, but this is a matter of preference. I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe, and the small/medium size socks (the blue ones shown in the picture to the right) fit perfectly. They hug your feet just tight enough to provide some compression without you worrying about cutting off circulation. Almost immediately I began to feel relief from the burning.

I kept the socks on for as long as I could personally tolerate, which was about 20 minutes. They were still cold to the touch and could have continued to provide relief, even though the gel packs were not as frozen. By the time I removed them, the throbbing in my feet had stopped completely. There was no aching, and I’m sure if my feet had been swollen, the socks would have helped with that too.

I’ve used the Cold Therapy Socks every night since receiving my package and I’m pleased with the results. The effects are not permanent, but I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in how I feel every evening. Plus, I don’t wake up with achy feet anymore, which always happened on the mornings after my super active days. So while I wouldn’t call the Cold Therapy Socks a miracle cure, they’ve definitely become my favorite way of treating my wounded feet. I told my mother I’m going to buy her a pair for her birthday.

Considering how much money I’ve been spending on Epsom salt and medical tape and whatnot, I’d say the $21 investment is worth it. Plus, the socks give you a chance to relax, and who doesn’t want an excuse for that?


My Miracle Pen

I’m a writer. Which means I write things, well… a lot. When I was first diagnosed with RA I was terrified that my painfully swollen and stiff fingers would prevent me from being able to pick up a pen. For the most part, I was right. The skinny, generic pens that you can buy in packs of 12 at the grocery store weren’t cutting it anymore. Inkier ballpoint pens and gel pens fixed the problem of having to press down hard on the paper, but they were still awkward to hold. So then I tried fatter pens, which were easier to grip, but they still required pressure to work. I was getting one benefit or the other, but never both.

So like any other frustrated, Internet-addicted young person, I turned to Google. That’s how I stumbled upon the PenAgain. It’s a weird wishbone-shaped writing instrument meant for people with arthritis, carpal tunnel, and other debilitating diseases. It’s designed so that you use the palm of your hand to guide the pen and apply pressure. Since a PenAgain pen only costs $5, I was willing to take the risk despite my initial skepticism. It couldn’t hurt to try it.

I pretty much fell in love with the pen, in case you didn’t get that vibe from the title of this post. It replaced every other pen bouncing around in my backpack. I felt less panic going into 3 hour-long college finals because I knew I could tackle the essays without worrying about my hands giving out. It was easier to jot down messages and fill out paperwork at work. Yeah, I totally got some strange looks from the people around me when they saw me using it, but that hardly matters.

Even though I’m in remission and can use regular pens for the most part, I still gravitate towards PenAgain. It’s easily one of the best RA-related purchases I’ve ever made. My only critique is that there are occasions when the pen will stop writing in the middle of a word, so I find myself scribbling on a piece of scrap paper to get it working again. Also, because of its design, the ink cartridges on these things are pretty short, so if you’re going to be using it a lot you’re going to want to have a backup pen or a stockpile of ink refills. I don’t mind this part so much because the refills aren’t expensive at all, and I realize that I write more than the average person on most days.

You can purchase a PenAgain pen (or pencil!) here.


Product Review: Pure Energy Band

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

So Mom came home from an afternoon shopping trip a few months ago and dropped a small box into my lap. “I want you to wear this every day,” she said to me. The box contained a small rubber bracelet with two holographic circles. The package read Pure Energy Band for Pain, Inflammation, and Circulation. “Did you really spend money on this?” I asked, completely skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, I totally support alternative healing. Still, I found it hard to believe that a piece of rubber could provide the results that the box claimed.

Mom paid $20 for the bracelet, though a quick Google search showed me that these little things can cost as much as $50. Crazy, I thought. I put the bracelet on anyway, since I was in the middle of a flare and desperate for some relief.

I’ve worn this thing religiously every day for 6 months now and haven’t taken it off for more than 5 minutes at a time (since the band is rubber, you can shower with it). I’m not really sure the bracelet is as effective as the claims make it out to be. For one, I can say with 100% certainty that you’re still going to flare and feel pain. However, my flares are not as frequent anymore. But even then, I’m not going to attribute that to the bracelet because there are too many other treatments that I have to factor in to how I’m feeling.

Bottom line: Purchase at your own risk. If you’re looking for something to stop your arthritic pain completely, this isn’t it. Save your money. And like I said, I can’t guarantee that the changes I’m feeling have anything to do with the bracelet. Personally, I would never spend my money on one.


Thefrugalcrafter's Weblog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

Rebirth of clarity

Live out Loud, Love, Fight, Create and Share

Prose, Poetry, and Coffee

As the title explains, I will post my prose or poetry on a weekly basis (or whenever I feel so inclined). And to jazz things up, I’ll post some of my favorite literary quotes or favorite poems. (I just threw coffee in the title...so *annoyed face* I've gotta clean that up...with my tongue. I love coffee...)

The Clovers Project

Good support is better than good luck.

5x5

Strong, Clear Literature

RAClaRA

A Young Adult's Battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Globe-T.

Le Bonnet voyageur • The travelling Winter Hat

The Thinking Writer

Classes & Community for People With Ideas

MFwAiting

You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are.