According to the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 40% of people experience chronic pain. Whether it’s pain in the muscles, joints, or other body parts, your ultimate goal is to find relief as soon as possible. Most probably, your first instinct is to take an oral pill.
Chances are you also sought relief from an over-the-counter pain relief cream. While the former can also help alleviate pain, choosing the latter has several benefits.
Advantages of Pain Relief Creams
Pain relief creams contain methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen), which creates a cooling sensation when applied to the skin. It serves as a counterirritant, serving as a distraction to pain points. Also, it contains other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) found in medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin.
For this reason, it offers a wide range of benefits over oral pain medications. The following are the advantages of pain relief creams:
1. Targeted Relief
If you have a sore muscle, pain relief creams are applied directly to the affected area. The active ingredients are absorbed by the skin but distributed to the painful area. Meanwhile, with an oral pill, your entire body could be affected as it needs to be swallowed and processed by the digestive and circulatory systems.
2. Provides Quick Relief
With topical creams, you get quicker relief than oral pills. Take joint pains for example, the skin surfaces around the affected joint area can quickly absorb the cream and shows positive effects much faster than oral pain relievers. In addition, you can apply a second dose of the cream more quickly than you can take a second dose of an oral medication.
3. Safer for Internal Organs
Oral pain relievers can negatively affect the digestive and excretory systems. On the other hand, pain relief creams do not pass through internal organs in the digestive system like the liver, stomach, and kidneys. Additionally, they do not cause gastric upset ad cardiovascular risks associated with oral medications.
4. Reduced Risk of Misuse
People buy pain relief cream because it lessens the chance of side effects like drowsiness, euphoria, and others, which is a common complaint by people who take oral pain relievers. Meanwhile, topical creams only affect the painful area.
5. Offers Longer Periods of Pain Relief
Compared to most oral pills, pain relief creams offer longer periods of pain relief. Over-the-counter pills last four to six hours, while topical creams can last more than eight hours.
6. Relieves More Than One Pain
Pain relief creams are designed to treat various kinds of pain. Aside from inflammation, they can also relieve sports injuries, injury-related pain, vulvodynia, musculoskeletal pain, and accident-related pain, to name a few.
Seek Medical Advice When Buying Pain Relief Creams
Before buying pain relief creams, do some research first. There are different ointments to choose from, which can make your choice a daunting one. You can talk to a pharmacist to help you understand how it can affect you. They can work with your doctor in recommending the best cream for relieving your pain.