PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What topical analgesic creams, rubs, and sprays are used for pain relief?

ANSWER

Some of the most common ingredients in nonprescription topical analgesics are:

  • Counterirritants. Ingredients such as menthol create a burning or cooling sensation that distracts your mind from the pain.
  • Salicylates. These same ingredients that give aspirin its pain-relieving quality are found in some creams.
  • Capsaicin. The main ingredient of hot chili peppers, it can be helpful for joint pain and for diabetic nerve pain.

SOURCES:

Georgia Department of Community Health: "Arthritis pain relief: Creams and gels for aching joints."

ArthritisToday.org: "Osteoarthritis and Kidney Concerns," and "Osteoarthritis Treatment: What medications are used to treat osteoarthritis?"

Penn State Hershey: "Osteoarthritis."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "How to Use Capsaicin (Pepper Creams) for Joint Pain."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Use Caution with Over-the-Counter Creams, Ointments."

University of Missouri Health Care: "Use of Heat and Cold for Pain Relief."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Handout on Health: Back Pain."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2017

SOURCES:

Georgia Department of Community Health: "Arthritis pain relief: Creams and gels for aching joints."

ArthritisToday.org: "Osteoarthritis and Kidney Concerns," and "Osteoarthritis Treatment: What medications are used to treat osteoarthritis?"

Penn State Hershey: "Osteoarthritis."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "How to Use Capsaicin (Pepper Creams) for Joint Pain."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Use Caution with Over-the-Counter Creams, Ointments."

University of Missouri Health Care: "Use of Heat and Cold for Pain Relief."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Handout on Health: Back Pain."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How can you minimize risks of using topical cream rubs and sprays for pain relief?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.