If your arthritis pain is mild, if you have only a few joints affected by the disease, or if oral medications don't completely control your pain, you may find a topical pain reliever or topical analgesic useful.
Topical painkillers are available as creams, salves, or gels. The active ingredients of topical painkillers include:
Since you’ve recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit.
1. What caused my arthritis?
2. What drugs can I take if I frequently have stomach problems with pain relievers?
3. Would prescription medication be appropriate for my osteoarthritis?
4. What are some appropriate exercises for me to try?
5. Will stretching and flexing the joint help it feel better?
6. Why does the weather affect my symptoms?
7. Does physical activity help osteoarthritis...
Capsaicin. Found naturally in hot peppers, capsaicin is found in drug stores under the brand names of Capzasin-P, Zostrix, and other drugs. Capsaicin works by blocking the transmission of a pain-relaying substance called substance P to the brain.
Counter-irritants. Camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol are found in a variety of agents such as ArthriCare, Eucalyptamint, and Icy Hot amongst others. These substances are able to relieve pain by tricking the body to feel the coolness or heat of these agents.
Salicylates. This substance is available in Aspercreme, BenGay, and Flexall. Salicylates work by decreasing pain and inflammation.
NSAIDs. Topical NSAIDs penetrate the skin barrier and deliver the medication to the site of pain. Pennsaid and Voltaren gel are examples.