Applying Relief

Pain is one of the most common reasons that a person visits the doctor. Often kidney disease, a fear of addiction, side effects, etc. may prevent a person from taking oral medications. What is left for the person to control the pain and go about their daily lives and special occasions?

The following topical medications can be used for pain relief:

  • Diclofenac (Voltaren gel) – a proven anti-inflammatory that may be applied directly to the site of pain, especially effective in tendonitis, synovitis, soft tissue injuries and chronic joint conditions such as osteoarthritis
  • Topical ibuprofen – similar to diclofenac
  • Topical lidocaine – extremely useful for post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Evidence based medicine supports its use.
  • Topical capsaicin – used anecdotally in diabetic neuropathy and neuritis but not supported by scientific literature
  • Topical amitryptiline and ketamine – both have shown to be successful for treating peripheral neuropathy in small cohort studies
  • Topical opioids – also provides relief from pain associated with injury or inflammation for most patients in small studies
  • Topical menthol – shown to better for pain control than application of ice in small studies

The advantages of topical analgesics include no systemic effects, low side effect profile, and avoidance of addiction/withdrawal. If you are able to take oral medications, topical medications may be used as adjuncts as long as contraindications are avoided. Talk to your doctor today if your pain is poorly controlled.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.