In treating chronic pain, there are a variety of approaches to take – and unfortunately, some can be addictive. With the potential of misuse, abuse, and life-threatening consequences of opioids and similar pain medications, the medical community often recommends topical pain medication as an effective alternative.
Topical pain medication can help to relieve chronic pain that is caused by sports injuries and conditions such as arthritis. These medicines come in foam, liquid, cream, gel, patch, and lotion form. We have known for years about the effectiveness of BenGay, IcyHot, and Aspercreme, but now we also have Capzasin-HP, Voltaren, and Solaraze.
Note: Because it is so effective and is only applied on the skin rather than ingested, patients may not respect its strength as a medicine insofar as its potential harm if it is applied too often. Just like ingesting too many pain-relief pills, whether over-the-counter or prescription, it is possible to overdose on topical medicine – so be sure to simply follow the directions.
Let’s talk about some of the many benefits of topical pain medications and how they are changing the way we treat chronic pain today:
Fast-Absorbing Medication with No Systemic Side Effects
The delivery system for oral pain medication is not ideal, since it has to pass through the digestive system and the liver. Not only can this overexert these organs, but it can also impact how quickly the medication works – and therefore weaken its strength and effectiveness. Moreover, oral pain medication can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
Compare that to topical pain medication, which is absorbed quickly through the skin and causes fewer side effects. Plus, any side effects are usually much less dramatic than those caused by oral medication.
Topical pain medicine is applied directly on the affected area, as it is site-specific. Relief from pain is achieved quickly, and you can go right back to doing your favorite activities.
Effectively Decrease Inflammation and Relieve Pain
Topical pain medications are formulated with powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents which can effectively bring down the inflammatory response and thereby relieve chronic pain. These treatments can also help to lessen or eliminate swelling and stiffness in the muscles and joints.
Topical medicines can be prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with sports injuries, such as sprains and strains. They can also provide relief for chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and soft-tissue injuries.
Low Addiction Risk
Topical pain medication has a very low risk of abuse and addiction, which is one reason why this treatment is so highly regarded among doctors and other medical practitioners. It has even been shown to help patients be weaned off of opioid use, thanks to its effectiveness in providing lasting pain relief.
Orthopedic Pain Relief in Naples, Florida
At the Joint Replacement Institute, our pain management physicians offer comprehensive treatment for patients who are suffering from chronic pain. We use a combination of traditional and interventional pain management therapies to relieve your symptoms and help you get back to enjoying life.
If you have any questions or would like to request a consultation with one of our orthopedic doctors, call us today at (239) 261-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner in tackling pain for good.