Do you suffer from aching joints? Are you looking for a pain reliever that isn’t a pill? Are you looking for something to help you feel better?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, topical pain relief may be just what you’re looking for. It’s estimated that more than a billion people suffer from chronic pain all over the world and with more than 650 muscles in the human body, there’s a lot of potential for pain or discomfort.
What is topical pain relief? Quite simply, it’s those type of pain killers that you apply to your skin; think gels, rubs and ointments. The great thing about a lot topical relief options is that they’re easy to find and can usually be picked up at a local drugstore like CVS or Walgreens.
When it comes to topical pain relievers, which you also might find under the category of analgesics, they’re all designed to relieve some form of pain. But not all products are the same and the relief you might get in a product depends on the ingredients used in that product.
If you’re at the local drugstore and you’re reading labels on different types of topical pain relief, you should know what ingredients are in the products you’re looking at. Some of the most common ingredients you might find are:
- Salicylates: These are the same sorts of pain relievers you find in over-the-counter aspirin. When you buy a cream or a spray with those in it, you can use that on your skin for pain relief on your elbows, joints and knees.
- Capsaicin: When you hear this word, you might think of hot peppers like ghost chilis and habaneros. Believe it or not, capsaicin—the ingredient that gives peppers their heat—is also used in main types of topical pain relief. When you apply a capsaicin cream to your skin for example, you’re likely going to feel a warm, tingly sensation. But don’t worry, the feeling gets better over time and after a few weeks, you should notice relief from pain.
- Counterirritants: When you see ingredients like menthol and campor on a tube of cream or a gel, these are counterirritants. They are so called because they create a burning (or cooling) sensation that helps distract you from the fact you’re in pain.
There are plenty of benefits to standard pain pills, but if you’re prone to popping Tylenol and Advil like candy on a daily basis, the side effects can add up quickly. These symptoms can include:
- Skin rash
- Upset stomach
Whether you know it or not, many standard pain pills can cause damage to your organs and some specific ones such as ibuprofen can be toxic to your liver and kidneys.
So why are topical pain relief gels, creams and sprays a better option? There are many benefits to using them including:
- Direct relief: One of the best benefits of topical pain relief is that you can apply a pain reliever right where you need it to. Whether you need an age spot cream, cream or gel for earache relief, joint pain relief cream, dry skin cream or a solution for any number of other aliments, you can take whatever product you have and apply it exactly where you need to.
- Faster relief: Since a topical pain reliever doesn’t have to travel through your body before the medicine kicks in, you get faster relief. This is a great thing if you’re experiencing intense pain and looking for relief as quickly as you can get it.
- Fewer side effects: The side effects of standard pain pills have already been mentioned above. With topical pain relief gels and creams, you’ll have fewer side effects and you’ll be able to reapply a cream or gel much sooner than you would be able to take another dose of pills.
- Personalized relief: With some topical pain relief gels, a doctor can create a personalized treatment plan for your needs.
Whether you’re dealing with chronic sleep issues, foot pain, back pain, joint pain, eczema or any number of other common issues, topical pain relief can be just what you need to find the relief you’ve been looking for. It works faster, can be applied directly and offers fewer side effects than other types of pain relief.