Physician creates pain relief products

Why was a pain relief product created?

Doctors and other health care workers know that needle sticks can cause pain and stress among their patients. Dr. Amy Baxter is a double boarded pediatrician who worked in pediatric emergency medicine. She saw a problem and wanted to make a difference for her patients. Dr. Baxter wanted to create a pain relief product that would help lessen the pain associated with needle injections.

How was a pain relief product created?

Dr. Baxter starting experimenting with ideas which could help minimize the pain of needle sticks. She knew that cold water could reduce the pain of a burn. There was some relief but she wanted more. Her  “Ah Ha” moment came when she was driving her car.  The wheels of the car were not in alignment which caused the steering wheel to shake. Dr. Baxter noticed that her hands were numb which started a flurry of ideas.

Dr. Baxter thought that combining ice and vibration may give a better response than either alone. She used a personal massager along with a bag of frozen peas to test her theory. She noticed that the skin that surrounded the massager and ice was less likely to experience pain

It was a long road but Dr. Baxter persisted. She spent many hours researching her ideas, developing a prototype, speaking at pain conferences and writing grants.

For the prototype, Dr Baxter enlisted the help of an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech. She was able to develop her initial prototype and her business, MMJ Labs was born. The business was named after her children Max, Miles and Jill.

The first product that was developed was called Buzzy®

According to the manufacturer’s website,

“Buzzy is a vibrating palm-sized device with removable ice wings. Together, ice and vibration block sharp sensations on the arm. It desensitized directly where it is put, and for an inch or two “downstream” of where it is placed. It has been studied for injections, IVs, and phlebotomy and gives the same pain relief as numbing cream.”

How does Buzzy® work?

Essentially the brain gets scrambled information. When too many messages are sent to the brain, the brain cannot accurately decipher each message. The cold and vibration messages outweigh the sharp pain.

If you want to see how Buzzy® works, her are some video links

After MMJ Labs was voted “most liked/loved” health tech company at an AARP meeting, Dr. Baxter created additional pain relief products to help with conditions such as tendonitis.


VibraCool® was designed to relieve tendonitis and muscular pain.

VibraCool® works in a similar way to Buzzy®

According to the manufacturer’s website

“Vibracool™ combines two physiologic pain relievers –  high frequency vibration and ice – to combat pain. Vibration massages muscles and improves blood flow while ice decreases pain, swelling, and inflammation.”

The device has neoprene compression strap that allows it to be secured around knees, elbows, ankles or wrists.

The problem with ice alone is that it decreases blood flow and tends to stiffen muscles. Vibration will increase blood flow to the injured tissue which is needed for healing.

The device has been used post-operatively in knee replacement patients and studied in those with plantar fasciitis.

Pain relief device information

Dr.  Baxter uses patented technology on both her devices and the vibration devices are manufactured in the United Sates.

There are plans to develop a similar device for back pain.

Finding alternatives to pain medication is extremely important, opioid addiction is a problem that has been difficult to control.

Purchase VibraCool®


Vibracool® is also available at Weldricks Pharmacy.

What is an ideal pain relief product?

An ideal pain relief product would be effective and safe to use.

Let us take a look at some pain relief products and procedures that are available for use.


Pain relief products such as numbing creams can be used. The problem with numbing creams is that they can take up to 20 minutes to work. When you are waiting to perform a procedure 20 minutes is a long time. In addition, the wait tends to add anxiety. I never liked using the numbing creams prior to giving an injection, I thought they were messy. In addition, I was concerned about using a cream over an area that I would be injecting and performing a procedure on. I wiped away the cream and sterilized the area but I did have concerns about increased infection.

Oral medications and pain relief

Over the counter medications that help reduce inflammation (referred to as NSAIDs) can increase the risk of bleeding and stomach upset. There is also a concern for an increased risk of heart attack.

Prescription medications such as opioids have a high rate of misuse and abuse. The CDC has issued guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain, I try to avoid opioids whenever possible.

Injections and pain relief

Injections of medication such as steroids can help decrease inflammation but they should not be used long term. Steroids can cause weakness of tissue leading to tendon rupture.

Acupuncture may help with back, neck, shoulder pain and headaches. Usually, multiple visits are needed.

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the nerve fibers carrying pain signals to the brain. It has been shown to be effective but not everyone with pain is a candidate for this procedure.

There are truly limited pain relief products that are both effective and safe. Having devices such as Vibracool® is

What do you think about pain relief products?

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