There was a time when pain relieving pills like ibuprofen and aspirin were highly recommended to arthritis patients and those suffering various levels of mild and severe pains.
However, this has quickly changed and many doctors are now advising patients who seek to relieve some of their joint pains to go for topical analgesic rub on pain relievers instead.
According to various research studies, a rub on pain reliever can quickly access the joints and painful muscles faster than any pill or OTC painkiller.
What’s more, pills generally act by blocking the neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the brain but never actually treat or heal the pain in question.
What is a Rub on Pain Reliever?
As the name clearly suggests, rub on pain relievers are unlike oral painkillers. They are rubbed on the skin’s surface where the pain is felt. If the pain is on your elbow or knee joint, then these pain relievers are rubbed on the skin around the elbow and knee respectively.
Rub on pain relievers come in various forms, including creams, gels, sprays, or patches, which can be applied on the hurting areas. The benefits of rub on pain relief products are quite obvious and straightforward.
They work faster to relieve pain that is close to the surface and also protect you from the side effects associated with oral painkillers. However, they have limitations and they cannot be used for internal pain.
Types of Pain that Rub on Pain Relievers Work Best For
As mentioned, rub on pain relievers are ideal alternatives to oral painkillers, but this is not always so for all cases. There are specific types of pain that only oral and injected pain relief can remedy. Open wound pain and chronic deep tissue injuries, for instance, will require more advanced pain relief methods.
However, a rub on pain reliever comes in handy for superficial joints such as elbows, ankles, knees, hands, and feet. When the pain is in such joints (close to the surface) then using topical analgesics can be a faster and more effective remedy compared to other forms of pain relief.
Arthritis patients, for instance, require constant use of pain relief for their different joint pains (knee, ankles, waist, back, and elbow). This means frequently taking oral pills as prescribed by the doctor to help mitigate the pain.
Using rub on creams and gels can help to reduce the number of pills they take in a day. What’s more, the effect of these pain relievers lasts longer than pills and do not expose patients to any side effects.
Rub on products offer precision pain relief as they reach closer to the joint than swallowed pills. They are also popular options for patients whose stomachs are sensitive to some of the ingredients used in oral pain relievers.
However, these topical analgesics are not recommendable when the pain affects a broad area or several different parts of the body. Lower back pain, for example, requires a different kind of pain relief and rub on creams are not your best choice for such pain.
You should use a rub on pain reliever 3 to 4 times a day, depending on the severity of the pain. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands after use to avoid smearing the product on your ears, eyes, and nose.
Some of the side effects you will experience from using rub on products include skin irritation and itching, although these are quite rare and only witnessed by those with sensitive skin types.
Top Rub on Pain Reliever Products
There are many rub on pain relief products on the market and finding one should not be a daunting task. Unfortunately, this very reason exposes the market to several sub-standard products that will not deliver the pain relief experience you are looking for.
In fact, some may even expose you to a myriad of skin problems. It is therefore very important to spend sufficient time in researching the offers you get before spending your money.
The general advice is to consult your doctor for recommendations based on your medical history and underlying medical conditions. Naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and diclofenac are the most popular active agents found in such painkillers and they entail non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
While the same drugs are offered in pill form and prescribed to arthritis patients, rub on gels and sprays target inflammation that is often characterized by stiffness, swelling, and pain.
Finding the top rub-on pain reliever products involves determining reliable ingredients that can help you sooth joint pains while reducing side effects. The market has several top-quality products and choosing only a few as the best is more biased than helpful.
However, you can always look for the following ingredients in the label as you conduct more research and review on any particular product:
These are ingredients that induce burning or cooling sensations to distract your mind from the pain. They include camphor, menthol, and methylsalicylate.
These are the ingredients used in aspirin to give it its pain relief properties. They are added to rub on cream to relieve pain that is close to the skin such as knee, elbow, and finger joint pains.
This ingredient derived from hot chili pepper induces a warm yet tingling sensation that gets better over time. It works like counterirritants, albeit with a burning sensation.
The best products in the US include Diclofenac Gel, Orudis (Ketoprofen), Indocin (Indomethacin), Feldene (Piroxicam), and Ibuprofen. Diclofenac gel is readily available in most drug stores but the others may require patients to make special orders from compounding pharmacies.
Rub on Pain Reliever Review Summary
Rub on pain reliever products can help you quickly get rid of the pain and focus on other things. These creams, gels, and sprays are fast acting and will generally sooth pain within a few minutes.
However, they take a long time to heal the pain (usually several months) as this could be a symptom of some underlying diseases like arthritis.
It is important to read all the instruction provided in the package insert before using the product. Avoid rub-on products if you are already taking oral NSAIDs and never apply them on damaged skin or wounds.
Do not use them with hot packs or under tight bandages. Essentially, consult your doctor for comprehensive advice and recommendation before applying any rub on pain reliever product.