Ever had sore muscles after a challenging workout? Or suffer from arthritis pain? Most of us have had aches and pains at some point in our lives and have leaned on topical pain relief to help us get through the discomfort.
But how does it work? And what are the best topical pain relief options out there? Read on to learn more!
The Anatomy of Topical Pain Relief
Why is it that I can rub something on my skin and get relief in the muscle or joint underneath?
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it absorbs many of the things it comes in contact with—including medications. Topical painkillers are designed to be rubbed in, sprayed on, or applied as patches directly onto your skin to deliver relief straight to your painful areas. All these forms of delivery work essentially the same—to deliver pain-relieving active ingredients directly to the source.
However, these topical pain relievers can have different active ingredients that work in varying ways. Here are the most common:
- Salicylates: These are what give aspirin its pain-relieving properties. Topical versions of salicylates can be helpful for arthritis pain, backaches, and even migraines.
- Counterirritants: These ingredients work by causing a different sensation in the area where you apply them. That new sensation distracts your brain from the pain signals coming from the sore muscle or joint. Menthol and camphor are examples of counterirritants.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs): These are topical versions of medications like ibuprofen and diclofenac. They work by reducing inflammation in the area where you apply them—similar to oral NSAIDs but without the risk of side effects like stomach problems.
- Lidocaine: This numbing agent can come in the form of a patch or gel that you apply to your skin. Lidocaine shouldn’t be used if you have liver problems or take certain heart medications.
- Capsaicin: This is the ingredient that gives chili peppers their heat. Capsaicin topical creams can be helpful for arthritis and other types of nerve pain. But beware, it can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation when you first apply it. Over time, though, many people find that the burning goes away.
Topical Pain Relief Options
Now that you understand how topical pain relief works, we can talk about some of the most popular options on the market today.
Tiger Balm has been around for almost a hundred years. And to this date, it’s one of the most popular natural topical pain relief options available. It’s a counterirritant that contains camphor and menthol that distracts your brain from the discomfort.
Volteran Pain Relief Gel
This topical gel contains an NSAID (diclofenac) that’s been shown to be helpful for arthritis pain, backaches, and even migraines. It’s particularly popular among people with arthritis because it’s one of the few topical NSAIDs that doesn’t require a prescription.
These topical patches combine the pain-relieving benefits of salicylates and counterirritants. Menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate work together to provide pain relief and relieve inflammation. Salonpas patches are cheap and work well for travel since they’re easy to pack.
Lidoderm Lidocaine Patches
Lidoderm patches require a prescription because of the high dose of lidocaine. But, they’re one of the most effective topical pain relief options available for severe or chronic pain, thanks to the numbing power they provide.
An Alternative, Natural Option
There’s another magical topical pain relief option that we haven’t talked about yet—CBD.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis plants. This compound has been studied extensively for its potential therapeutic benefits, and scientists have found that CBD is incredibly effective in reducing pain and inflammation when applied topically.
Your skin houses a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors that CBD can bind to when you apply it topically in a lotion or oil. When CBD activates these receptors, it triggers a response in your endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and dampen pain signals to your brain.
Unlike the products we talked about earlier, CBD is a completely natural compound with very few side effects. The only thing you need to be careful of is making sure you’re using a high-quality CBD topical.
The Right Source
If you’re interested in getting natural pain relief through CBD, it’s crucial that you know how much of it you need, how often you need it, and what type of product you should be using. And most important of all—make sure your getting a high-quality product made with all-natural ingredients.
That’s what you’ll find when you shop at Thumb Coast CBD. We grow all of our hemp plants and source our ingredients straight from our own farm, so you can trust that our products are pure and potent. If you have questions about topical pain relief with CBD or any of our other products, we’re happy to help guide you.