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Could Salonpas be your salvation, too?

My dad recently told me he saw a really good bike racer, whose name he now could not recall, in a department store. The guy said he was looking forward to chewing the fat with me after some races this year.

I told my dad I didn’t see that happening.

Too many of my rides this year have focused on managing pain in my glutes and hips and a seemingly constant knot in my left hamstrings rather than maximizing effort. While I’ve still managed to maintain fine overall fitness, it’s not the type that would produce great race results.

My dad said if I never raced again, he’d be good with that, and I should be, too. After all, he reasoned, I had won plenty of races - and broken too many bones in the process.

While I don’t know if I am good with that or not, I do know I still want to ride really hard from time to time - without aches and pains dictating those times. I’m grateful, therefore, that that’s been the case recently and believe it could help you to know why.

It’s because, odd as it sounds, we’re a month away from Mother’s Day. And that Nancy Thompson, the founder and president of the public relations firm Vorticom, Inc., is such a sympathetic and savvy business person.

A few weeks ago, she emailed and suggested I include a Salonpas pain-relieving product or two in a gifts-for-Mother’s-Day article. I told her no such article was in the works.

I did offer, however, to try a Salonpas product on the aforementioned aches from the two metal rods and six screws attached to my femurs.

I figured she’d send one small tube and be done with it.

I figured wrong. Along with a heartfelt letter, she sent every type of spray, gel, and patch Salonpas produces, 12 items in all.

But what makes this story article worthy is more than what’s been stated already. These products designed for “temporary relief of minor aches & pains of muscles & joints” have not only done that, but also eliminated the knot in my left hamstrings.

In my first experiment with the Salonpas products, I sprayed the Pain Relieving Jet Spray on my hamstrings and glutes as I dressed for a ride - which I hoped would last about two and a half hours and contain an hour or so of hard climbing.

The spray chilled both areas in a way that reminded me of the freeze spray the college baseball trainer used on my fingers when they got mashed against the bat by a 90-mile-per-hour fastball. While I assume my body reacted to the chill by increasing blood flow, I know something related to the spray created a sensation of relaxation in the left hamstrings.

During the early and easy part of the ride, I focused on forcing the left hamstrings to do their fair share of the work on the back stroke - and this time they complied. As I got out of the saddle on the first climb, the knot released a bit and continued to do so the next two times I stood and climbed.

But sliding back in the saddle and staying seated makes the knot in the left hamstrings ache the most. So I tried that next, albeit gingerly. The left hamstrings remained relaxed.

I gave the next seated climb more effort and still didn’t feel the knot. Oh, and by the way, the dull ache in my glutes that seated climbing often creates didn’t occur, either.

In short, I did the remaining climbs as hard as I wanted and rode a bit longer than the scheduled two and a half hours.

My Salonpas experiment continued. After a meal and a shower, I put the Large Pain Patches on those aforementioned afflicted areas.

The patches affixed easily. Better still, I soon forgot I had them on.

Which wasn’t true the next day when I tried the patches containing capsaicin. They produced such heat that in about 90 minutes I needed to move the patch atop the ball-and-hip joint I believe to be arthritic - but that heat did eliminate the ache in that area.

On subsequent days, I tried the Arthritis Pain Relieving Gel before rides and found it diminished the toothache-like ache in the glutes that typically occurred the morning after hard rides. And I loved the freezing yet rejuvenating feel produced by the Deep Relieving Gel.

I now use that gel after rides when I sense the cumulative fatigue of hard riding on successive days could lead to “dead legs.”

While the focus of this article had to be about my past experiences, the end needs to be about your future ones.

What you want - good health now and for the long term - can’t come about if chronic aches and pains keep you from working out or in some way limits them. If either case is yours, consider mine.

And seriously consider Salonpas products.