Most people turn to pain medications such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin to alleviate the pain of throbbing joints due to arthritis. If you are reading this though, then you are probably looking for a better and more safer alternative.
If the source of the discomfort is close to the surface of the skin, a topical cream, ointment or spray can do the trick. The latter can alleviate arthritis pain on specific areas of the body and at the same time, avoid the long-term adverse effects of oral pain medication.
How does it work?
The use of arthritis cream works best if the pain or discomfort is on superficial joints like the hands, elbows, feet and knees. In such areas, the active ingredients applied on the surface will have an easier time reaching the afflicted joints.
Now the active component in most topical analgesics is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) similar to that found in aspirin and ibuprofen. These medications target swelling responsible for the pain and swelling of the joints.
How effective is it?
A common concern among people looking to switch to pain relief cream in Australia is that it might not be as effective as the pain medications that they are used to which is not at all the case. According to a study by Cochrane Partnership (an International body of health professionals), topical creams for arthritis pain can offer the same relief as oral pain medications with fewer risks of gastrointestinal issues.
The benefit of applying a topical analgesic is that the medication works in a specific area. Targeting pain more precisely utilising a remedy applied to the skin can help skirt the adverse results of oral drugs. This can be a blessing for people whose stomachs cannot tolerate oral pain medications. However, keep in mind that a percentage of the medicine still enters the bloodstream and ends up in the stomach and other places so it is not a guarantee. Still, the risk of an adverse reaction is undoubtedly much lower with topical analgesics. Another boon is that you can avoid adding another pill to the ones you are already taking daily — supplements, prescription medications and the like.
Proper use of topical analgesics for arthritis pain
Topical analgesics can be applied up four times a day to control mild to moderate pain due to arthritis. Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly after usage, so you don’t smear traces of the cream into your eyes, nose or mouth.
Adverse effects of topical medications consist of soreness, itching, and other skin inflammation. They are generally mild– and uncommon. The cause of skin irritation is frequently the material utilised to make the cream or gel, not the NSAID itself. If that is the situation, then it might be possible to ask your pharmacist to prepare or prescribe a cream with less of the ingredients that are less detrimental to your skin.
Know that a topical analgesic is not the universal solution to arthritis pain. For one thing, it is not a good choice for illnesses that affect large areas of the body such as the back or if the pain is felt on more than one part of the body. Perhaps the most crucial thing to keep in mind when using NSAID cream for arthritis relief is to never use it in combination with oral pain medications without the advice of your doctor. Doing so can lead to an overdose of the substance which leads to stomach ulcers and internal bleeding.