Joint and muscle pain can seriously hamper the quality of your life. One minute you are going for a run or playing outside with your dog, and the next minute you are glued to your couch with severe pains and aches. Sometimes, the pain might become so unbearable that you’ll end up trying just about anything to get some relief. But, do you know which is the right solution for you?
The market is filled with hundreds of pain solutions, from over-the-counter to prescription pills and from oral to topical balms. So, how do you decide?
In most cases, people start with over-the-counter pills as they think popping pills is the easiest and fastest way to get relief. In doing so, they’re forgetting the risks that come with popping pills. Even prescription pills are fraught with side-effects and it can be harmfulto people, especially chronic pain sufferers. The other option that people rely on is applying topical pain relief balms. Also, this is one of the least risky and most cost-effective alternatives.
Topical pain relievers – what are they?
Topical pain relievers refer to anything that is applied to the outside of the body as opposed to popping pills orally. For pain, this can mean hot and ice compresses, as well as, pain relief cream, spray, gel or balm.
Typically, there are two types of topical pain relievers – cold and hot. The cold rubs generally contain menthol, which is derived from eucalyptus, peppermint and pennyroyal. The hot rubs contain capsaicin and this is a chili extract that gives it that tingly, spicy feeling. Both cold and hot are effective pain methods and it is mainly because extreme temperatures work well as they numb or turn off the nerve endings. This stops pain signals from reaching the brain. If your brain is unable to talk with that part of the body, it will not cause you to feel any kind of pain.
Who should use topical pain relievers?
Topical pain relievers like, a pain relief balm can be used by people of all ages. It is especially worth considering if you are someone who is suffering from chronic pain or experiencing significant side-effects from taking oral pain medications. Some of the common side-effects of pills are nausea, depression, ulcers, fatigue, upset stomach, skin rash and heartburn. Even organ damage is a possibility as whatever you take by mouth has to be processed by your kidneys and liver. Moreover, you might experience a dependency on pills if you keep taking them.
Advantages of pain relief balms and other topical pain relievers
Pain relief balms work locally and act quicker than medication
Both oral and topical pain medications block nerve endings from sending any kind of signal to the brain and this helps with pain. Since your brain is unable to process the pain, you don’t feel the pain. However, the problem with oral medication is that it deals with pain at a body-wide, systematic level while pain relief balms or gels keep the process local.
You can directly apply the balm where it hurts so that the nerves present in that area can be turned off immediately. This is also healthier for the body, especially if you are using pain relievers to get relief from chronic pain. With pain relief balms, you are not numbing or deactivating the nerve endings in your entire body, but only the area where you are experiencing discomfort. The problem with oral medication is that it numbs nerves at a systematic level and with time, it makes the nerves less sensitive, which results in more pain in the future.
As the pain relief balm is rubbed directly on the area that hurts, the skin absorbs it readily and provides the relief that you need. It does not take so much time as oral medication as balms do not need to be processed by organs to enter the bloodstream. So, there’s no need to wait for 30 minutes to get relief. You can just apply a pain relief balm and get instant results.
Allows your body to heal quickly
Since you are only rubbing the analgesic in one particular area of pain, your body is going to work in full-force to heal it. With oral medication, there is the risk of your body not understanding any pain at all. So, your body might actually forget to even go through the process of healing. Pain relief balms and other topicals relieve pain without stopping the natural healing process of the body. Even though you are not feeling any pain after rubbing the balm, your body knows that something is wrong. So, it is going to send white blood cells and other such fighters to help your body get back in shape. This results in faster healing.
Side-effects of topicals are fewer than oral medication
Other than minor skin sensitivities, balms and other topicals do not have many side-effects. If you are someone with sensitive skin, you might experience irritation, a rash or burning sensation after you’ve applied the balm. You can even reapply the balm if needed. But, if you consume too many pain medication, you might develop a dependency, liver problems and so on. A pain relief balm and such other topical pain relievers are easy to use. You simply have to apply it to the area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort, and let it rest. Within a few minutes, you will start to feel relief. They’re also easy to carry with you no matter where you are, such as when out camping, driving or at work. You can just apply and continue with your chores.