Since there are so many choices, it can be hard to figure out which jar or tube will give you the most for your money. Here are some things to think about to help you find the best cream for knee pain relief for you.
Read the Active Ingredients
Topicals with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like lidocaine or diclofenac work by reducing inflammation, which can help get to the root of your pain. Other ingredients work by giving you an unpleasant feeling:
Menthol, methyl salicylate, and camphor are all cooling.
Think About the Best Delivery Method
Pain is relieved by the same active ingredients in creams, sprays, and patches, but different ways of putting them on the body may work better in different places. Creams and gels work best on places like your hands, elbows, and knees that move a lot. On the other hand, patches stay in place and provide steady pain relief to your back, neck, or shoulders. Looking for something that won’t make as much mess? Spray it on.
Talk With Your Doc about Combo Treatments
Sometimes all you need is a pain cream or gel. But if that isn’t enough, talk to your provider about ways to make your topical work harder.
How Pain-Relief Creams Work
Creams, gels, patches, and sprays that you put on your skin are absorbed through your skin. Some use the best knee joint pain relief cream to reduce inflammation and help the body heal.
Some medicines use capsaicin, menthol, or menthol salicylate to give you a warming or cooling feeling that can help take your mind off the pain. Cooling agents can also slow the flow of blood to a painful area, while warming agents can help open up blood vessels and increase blood flow. Both of these things can help the body heal.
Topicals are usually good at helping people get over sudden pain close to the skin’s surface, like sore knees after a workout or a pulled neck muscle from sleeping the wrong way.
How to safely use pain creams
Most people think that over-the-counter pain creams are safe. But, as with all medicines, it’s best to be careful.
Use pain creams only for a short time.
The Cleveland Clinic says that most topicals are meant to be used for no more than a week at a time.
Watch for Side Effects
Stop using a cream if it turns your skin red, gives you a rash, makes it itch, or does anything else to irritate it.
Beware of Herbal or Unproven Ingredients
Use only creams with ingredients that have been shown to be both safe and effective. We would strongly advise you to stay away from things that say they are natural. Their effects often aren’t studied and adverse effects are not catalogued.
Talk With Your Doctor about Stubborn Pain
Let your doctor know if a topical doesn’t help or if the pain gets worse. You might need a prescription cream to step things up a notch.