Remember the acronym: RICE
Personally I dont find all of that necessary though. Taking it easy usually fixes things for me. I might add that I have some tendon pain in my shoulder and tricep. I used Icy Hot for the first time and it pretty much fixed me. I was amazed. It still hurts a little, but it it much better.
Pete, good advice for the first part (RICE).
I know I have posted this elsewhere, but here goes again. Topical analgesics (Icy Hot, Flexall 454, Bengay, etc) work on the premise of creating superficial heating or cooling of the skin and mild irritation to the local nerve endings.
It is like bumping your shin on a coffee table and then rubbing the area. Rubbing the area doesn’t make the shin better, it stimulates thousands of nerve endings in the area, so that there is an overload of signals going to the brain.
The deep heating/cooling effects you get from hot packs/ice packs can go several inches down into the muscles and joints, whereas the heating/cooling benefit of the topical rubs only penetrates a couple layers of skin.
Just an FYI. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have their place. In fact they are useful for dulling pain, just not by the mechanism that most people believe.