This is a review for two different products offered through NatraCure, a company that focuses on various products to support pain control. The really great thing about their site is that you can choose an area of your body that you would like to focus on – neck, foot, ankle, back, etc. – and they narrow down the product choices to the ones that are most appropriate for that particular area.
The first item I’m going to talk about is the Soft Gel Toe Stretcher and Exerciser. The material is incredibly flexible, and is actually infused with “7 botanical oils: avacado, olive, jojoba, grapeseed, canola and soybean.” They take it one step further with adding “green tea, willow fragrance and aloe vera.” I am telling you, if you have a cat or dog fascinated with your toes, they are really going enjoy your feet after you’ve had your toe stretcher on because it has such a pleasant smell.
These are very easy to get around your toes because of their flexibility. Pay attention to the instructions and the warnings. For instance, it’s NOT good to let the stretchers be on your toes for more than 10 minutes. The packaging says that the product is “diabetic-friendly,” but at the same time, it’s important to know your limitations. This does restrict blood flow to the toes a bit, even with the flexibility, and that is exactly what diabetics (and patients suffering from gout or good ol’ edema) need to be aware of. Even people with no issues with swelling or stunted blood flow should not go past the 10-minute time limit. Be kind to your feet.
My issue is that I’m in bed for about 22 hours of every 24 hours, so I’m having problems with the tendons in my feet shortening and stiffening. My big toes also tend to bend sideways as if they have been crammed into the toes of pointy shoes from the ’80s. These stretchers are fairly comfortable to wear. I’m not sure if they will help my big toes with realigning, but I’m going to keep using them daily.
The next item is the Magnetic Shoulder Support. I was warned before it was shipped to me that females who tried it found that it was too large and the “one size fits most” fit them poorly. I explained that I’m a good Midwestern woman raised on corn and built like a horse, so I doubted that I would have a problem with the fit.
The middle picture is the sling laid out flat and inside out. To wear it, you put the white stripes against your shoulder, then fasten the cuff around your arm with opposing Velcro pieces. The long, skinny part travels around your front and back and is closed with opposing Velcro pieces under your arm that is not being “treated” by the magnets.
This was fairly easy for me to put on. I estimated how tight I would need the sleeve, then slipped my arm and shoulder in, then closed the flaps under the other arm. However, I could see that if someone has mobility or fine motor skill issues, they might need assistance putting this on.
As predicted, the piece fit me just fine. One thing to be aware of, though, is that the fabric is 75% Neoprene (the same material divers use for their wet suits) and 25% Nylon, so right out of the package, there is an overwhelming chemical smell. I am particularly sensitive to chemicals and so I found it necessary to hand wash this before wearing it.
I wanted to try this product because for three years, all of my surgeries were done on the right side of my body, so I always had to rest and sleep on my left side. My shoulder really took a beating. I had to go through two rehab series because of an impinged nerve, and I could stand to go through rehab again – but I remember all of the exercises, so I’m trying to take care of it at home.
The idea is that the magnets (1,000 Gauss each) combined with the fabric that provides gentle compression will possibly “help stimulate blood vessels and blood oxygen levels and may help speed up the natural healing process.”
After wearing this for five days and up to four hours a time, I have not noticed an improvement in my range of motion or the pain. I don’t think that wearing it is doing me harm (I take it off for my rehab exercises), so I’m going to continue strapping it on for another week or two. It’s possible that it will be an appropriate treatment for other issues with the shoulder; I can only talk about what is affecting me directly.
The Magnetic Shoulder Support can be used on the right or left shoulder because it’s designed to be interchangeable.
This seems to be a great company that is focused on care for our most common trouble areas. My interactions with them have been pleasant, upbeat and thorough. I wish them every success as they continue to test and add products to serve the acute and chronic pain communities.