Instant Relief When Minor Injuries or Soreness Occur

Minor injuries can and do happen every day. But a small bump or bruise might not be a reason to rush to the emergency room. Instead, people can manage symptoms or discomfort at home thanks to over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. In particular, whether a person got a bump or is experiencing an arthritis flare-up, topical pain relievers are a popular remedy. Featuring ingredients that are absorbed through the skin to minimize pain or soreness, be sure that one of the following ingredients is included.

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Counterirritants for a cooling distraction

Often found in products such as solutions for sore joints or muscles, counterirritants are associated with an ability to numb the site of pain. Common versions found in many OTC topical pain relievers include menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate, also known as oil of evergreen. Rather than treating the underlying source of discomfort, counterirritants work to distract the body by creating a numbing or burning sensation.

Salicylates and prescription NSAIDs for pain relief

Counterirritants aren’t the only ingredient people will find in a topical treatment. Look for salicylates, the same ingredient found in pain relief pills such as aspirin. But because the pain reliever is being delivered topically, the medication can be absorbed quicker into the body. Topical options with salicylate as an ingredient are ideal for joint pain relief, such as the fingers, elbows, and knees. Similarly, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) typically found in pill form are also another popular option for topical relief. Often, a topical NSAID can be a safer choice with less incidence of common side effects like upset stomach or bleeding. Topical and oral NSAIDs should not be used together.

Capsaicin for a warming sensation

Individuals struggling with sore muscles know that hot and cold therapy is often promoted as an effective solution. If scrambling for a heating pad sounds like a chore, look for a topical pain reliever that contains capsaicin. This compound is naturally found in vegetables like peppers and is responsible for the heat created when a person eats a chili pepper. When used in topical treatments, capsaicin works to block pain messages from being sent through the nerves essentially. However, people may need to use capsaicin-based treatments several times a day for a few weeks before real relief is felt.

Putting a stop to pain

There is no need to suffer through painful symptoms associated with injury or degenerative conditions like arthritis. However, while OTC pain relief pills can be helpful, topical alternatives can sometimes deliver pain relief faster and with potentially fewer side effects. Before turning to a topical pain reliever, consider speaking with a physician to determine which product will be the best solution. Consider performing a patch test before applying a topical ointment, cream, or gel to large areas of your body.

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