When an individual is hit with knee pain, muscle aches or headaches, the pain reliever most often reached for is an oral medicine. Considered to be safe by most Americans, they're easily accessible and overwhelmingly popular. However, they do have their disadvantages. Because of this, a new category of help is becoming more promising for those with acute or chronic pain.
Just as effective as their oral counterparts, topical pain relievers can provide the same level of relief without the side effects.
Downsides of Oral Pain Relievers
Chemical pharmaceuticals often come with a laundry list of side effects. Even OTC pain relievers can be harmful to the body when taken regularly or in large doses. For example, acetaminophen can damage the liver while ibuprofen and naproxen may cause gastric upset as well as stomach ulcers.
Because oral pain relievers enter the bloodstream, they don't target a specific area of pain. Rather, they “treat” the entire body - the majority of which doesn't even need treating. When foreign chemicals are introduced to otherwise healthy systems, reactions occur. Unfortunately, these reactions (or side effects) wind up being worse than the original problem you set out to address.
How Topical Pain Relievers Work
Topical pain relievers are applied directly to the skin and can therefore be used to target an exact area, such as a muscle or joint. More than just a simple covering, the skin is your body's largest organ. It's made up of cells, blood vessels and pores, which pass substances from the skin into the body. Topical pain relievers take advantage of this trait, absorbing directly through the skin.
Benefits of Topical Pain Relievers
Not only does this form of pain relief target the specific area of pain, it also works faster. While oral medications take at least 30 minutes to produce a positive effect, topical pain relievers bear results in as little as 5 minutes. They're also associated with fewer side effects.
Understanding Natural Topical Pain Relievers
There are literally hundreds of topical ointments, gels and patches on the market today, and not all of them are created equal. Because the skin absorbs anything applied to it, it's important to choose your balms carefully. If you go to a local drugstore, you'll find that even ointments and gels are loaded with chemicals that disrupt the body's natural processes. With this in mind, it's critical to choose pain relievers with natural (preferably organic) ingredients.
With any medication, you must remember that you're taking the bad in with the good. While your chosen pain relief product may have a few good ingredients, what else is in it?
Using natural, organic alternatives can protect you from side effects while providing you with effective pain relief from joint discomfort, muscular pain, headaches and more.