You’re not the only one who experiences pain pills when performing daily activities. According to the CDC, up to 40% of Americans may suffer from chronic pain. This is one of the main reasons that adults seek medical attention. Many people will not seek medical treatment until they have tried alternative therapies such as icing, heating pads, and oral medications.
A common step after a consultation with a doctor is to order stronger pain pills, which are generally more effective. These are only available by prescription. Oral pain medication is so common that it’s considered the “old standby”—the method of treatment for pain. This can lead people to ignore other, more effective methods. Since oral pain medication can be problematic for people with chronic pain, doctors and pharmacists now consider topical pain relief creams and gels as an alternative to traditional pills.
Topical pain medication is a type of topical pain medication.
Most pain relievers, or analgesics, work by preventing your body’s chemical signals from sending pain signals to your mind. These chemicals are known as Prostaglandins. They are hormones that can cause inflammation, and the nerves around the affected area will send pain signals to the brain. Both oral and topical drugs block prostaglandins in different ways.
Topical pain relievers have many benefits.
Some creams, patches, and gels only contain a single topical pain reliever. However, many creams and gels are compounded with salicylates or other NSAIDs in combination with a counterirritant. Topical pain relievers have multiple advantages over oral and over-the-counter medications. We’ve compiled a list of the benefits of topical pain relievers, but keep in mind that these benefits depend on the formulation and may not apply to some prescription-strength topical opioids and steroids.
The following benefits are included:
1. Precision targeting.
Topical pain relievers are more targeted than oral pain medication, which is processed through the digestive system and circulatory system and affects the entire body. You can experience localized pain reduction by applying the topical pain reliever directly to the skin of the affected area. Wash your hands and wait.
2. Safety for organ systems
The way topical pain relievers are utilized—transdermally versus orally—helps prevent the negative effects long-term use of oral pain killers can have on the digestive and excretory systems. Topical pain relievers do not need to pass through internal organs such as the stomach, liver, kidneys, or digestive tract. They also don’t cause gastric upset or cardiovascular risks.
3. Quick response time
Topical pain relievers can be absorbed much faster than oral pain relievers since they are absorbed via the skin and not the circulatory system. Topical pain relievers can be absorbed relatively quickly by joints near the skin, such as the knees and elbows. This allows them to show their positive effects much faster than oral pain relievers. You can also use another dose more quickly than most oral medications.
4. Pain relief for a wide range of types of pain
Topical pain relievers have been designed to treat various types of pain. This includes compression neuropathy, in which an area of the body exerts painful pressure on a nerve. Topical pain relievers are also effective in treating muscle pain as well as tendons that have become inflamed. Oral analgesics are not effective for treating these types of pain.
5. Reduced risk of developing drug tolerance
The body can adapt to the pain-relieving effects of systemic or oral pain relievers over time. This phenomenon can lead to pain relievers losing their effectiveness over time. Topical pain relievers are an alternative to oral medications that can cause harm to the body.
6. Reduced risk of misuse
As we have already mentioned, the body becomes accustomed to certain oral pain relievers, and the need for more medication increases over time. Other medications produce different sensations, such as drowsiness or euphoria. Some oral medications are prone to misuse due to these conditions, whereas most topical pain relievers do not have this problem.
You may not want to take pain pills or other oral pain medication for the reasons mentioned above. A topical pain reliever is a better option. These specially formulated drugs can help relieve pain associated with conditions like arthritis, neuropathy, and muscle pain. Your pharmacist can speak with your doctor to determine which combination of active ingredients and which formulations—including compounded pain relief creams and compounded transdermal gels—may work best to relieve your pain long-term. Contact Compounding Pharmacies of America to discuss your options.