Pain relief doesn’t only come in pill form. Topical pain killers, those that are applied to the skin, are available in many formulas and formats to provide pain relief. Also called topical analgesics, they work on a variety of problems, both short-term, like sprays for burn relief, and long-term, like creams designed to ease arthritis pain or sore muscles.
A caution before buying any product is to look at the active ingredients list. Some people have irritant or allergic reactions to some of the ingredients used to dull pain, such as lidocaine, menthol or camphor. These ingredients are effective, but if your skin is sensitive, there are alternatives available.
Another caution is to follow the dosage instructions carefully. Some products can only be used every 8 hours—that could be too long an interval for you to go before needing the effects of another application.
Topical pain relievers are often categorized by the job they’re designed to do—burn relief, joint pain or sore muscles—and they have appropriate ingredients for each. For a well-outfitted medicine cabinet, you will probably need more than one type.
One choice you may have to make it on the delivery format you’re most comfortable applying. A very popular product for joint and muscle ache relief is Biofreeze, a topical analgesic provides a variety of benefits, including therapy, comfort and pain relief. It’s available as a roll-on for the most controlled application as well as a pump bottle and spray, formats available in different sizes. A Biofreeze application can last up to 6 hours.
Prossage Heat Therapy for Joint & Muscle Pain is a warming ointment formulated for joint and muscle pain management, especially arthritis and back pain. The thick formula can be applied before a deep tissue massage to ease chronic pain, orthopedic conditions and common sports injuries. It glides on smoothly and has a rich botanical blend of safflower seed oil, menthol, lanolin and lavender oil.
TriDERMA offers pain relief in a cream format that contains lidocaine, virgin organic aloe, arnica and other natural pain relievers and botanicals with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce discomfort from foot and heel pain, arthritis, joint pain, sore muscles and pain from shingles.
Whatever product you choose, these options give you the benefit of pain relief without swallowing a pill that could have side effects, like stomach upset.