If you’re suffering from aches and pains and you’re looking for pain relief that doesn’t come in pill form, topical pain relief just may be the answer you’re seeking.
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, can add up to a lot of pain or discomfort.
If you’re wondering what topical pain relief is, it’s pain relief and pain killers you can apply to your skin—think gels, pain and fatigue relief cream and different ointments. They’re incredibly easy to find and you can visit your local pharmacy and find any number of options.
Let’s say you’re in the pain relief aisle of your local Walgreens, looking at all manner of pain and fatigue relief creams and ointments. You should know that not all topical pain relievers are the same. A lot of the benefits you might get from a particular pain and fatigue relief cream or ointment are going to depend on what ingredients are used in that cream.
If you know next to nothing about different pain relief ingredients, here’s a quick primer on some of the common ones you’re likely to encounter:
- Capsaicin: When you hear about capsaicin, you might automatically think about food and hot peppers. It is true that capsaicin is used in food, but it’s also used in pain relievers, because it gives off a warm, tingly sensation.
- Salicylates: These are what you find in many kinds of over-the-counter aspirins. When you buy pain and fatigue relief creams and gels and ointments, you can get them with salicylates, which will give you the same pain relief on your joints and knees and elbows and arms that you get when you take aspirin orally.
- Counterirritants: You actually see these ingredients all the time under marketed names like menthol and camper. They’re classified as counterirritants because they create a sensation—either cooling or burning—that will help with pain relief.
Now you may think to yourself, “I take (name of pain pill here) every single day and it takes my pain away.” Make no mistake, many types of pain pills and aspirin are very effective, but for those who take a handful of pills a day, those pills can have many lingering side effects. They can cause damage to your organs and some specific pain relievers like ibuprofen can be harmful to your liver and kidneys. There can also be other side effects including:
- Upset stomach
- Skin rash
So why is topical pain relief a good way to go? There are actually many good benefits to using them, which include:
- Faster relief: Believe it or not, topical pain relievers actually work faster because most of the time they’re making direct contact with the areas of the body that are in pain. This is great for people who experience frequent or chronic pain since the relief can be felt almost instantly.
- Personalized relief: Another benefit of topical pain relief is that many times a doctor can create a personalized treatment plan, which will help an individuals specific pain relief needs.
- Direct relief: Since topical pain relievers are applied directly where trouble spots are, it makes it very easy to use pain relievers, age spot creams and other types of gels and ointments.
- Fewer side effects: As noted above, there can be many, sometimes harsh side effects to taking aspirin and pain pills so frequently. Thankfully, with pain and fatigue relief creams, gels and ointments, you’ll have many benefits, fewer side effects and get faster relief since you’ll be able to apply relief directly to the areas where you have pain.
For all types of common ailments—sleep issues, back pain, foot pain, eczema, joint pain, chronic pain anywhere in the body—topical pain relief can be a godsend. You’ll get fast, direct relief and won’t have to rely so much on over-the-counter aspirins, which can take longer to work.
So next time you’re in pain, don’t be afraid to stock up on pain relief cream, natural sleep aid and other topical pain relievers. It might be one of the best choices you make for your health.