IcyHot falls into a category of products called non-narcotic analgesics, or pain relievers. The way it’s supposed to work is by interfering with and disrupting the pain signals traveling to the brain from an affected area, hence the use of the icy and hot sensations. In actual fact there is no cold or heat from this product.
It’s similar to drinking coffee, in that the caffeine molecule attaches to brain receptors and prevents you from feeling tired, but when it wears off you crash. Well the same is true here. If you do reach any level of comfort from use, it will wear off and allow those signals to finally reach their destination.
I think people may be mislead into thinking Icy Hot reduces pain or inflammation, and therefore continue exercising or being active. But in my opinion, if it works at all, it’s just blocking pain and giving you a false sense of feeling better, which would lead you to an even more serious injury.
The statement that it “penetrates deep” is also false in my opinion, as IcyHot is a topical agent, meaning it sits on the skin and never actually gets into your bloodstream as other true anti-inflammatory medicines do. The last point I want to make is that pain exists for a reason – to let you know something isn’t right. I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw a blanket over it and cover it up, you need to stop, listen and take action.