Taking steps to manage joint pain can feel like a full-time job. Even when you’re active in your garden or out for a walk, pain can strike the next day and cause you to question if these “lifestyle” remedies are worthwhile.
They are. But sometimes, you might need a little more to help silence joint pain and manage arthritis.
And instead of popping a pill, you might be more inclined to try a topical rub.
Topical rubs featuring certain active ingredients may be a way to help deal with certain types of joint pain. For example, ingredients like capsaicin may help with arthritis in joints that rest just below the skin.
Such options are generally sold as creams or gels, but sometimes they come in sprays or patches that are administered directly to the area where the pain is occurring.
The effectiveness of most topical pain-relief rubs is always under question. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest they work, yet the supporting scientific evidence doesn’t always add up.
One review, however, indicated that topical capsaicin might effectively reduce pain better than a placebo.
You may have heard of capsaicin before; it’s the compound in chilies that provides the heat. It can also deplete nerve cells of pain-signaling chemicals, thereby giving it potential pain-relieving abilities.
There are a few things you need to be aware of if you’re interested in trying capsaicin for quick joint pain relief:
- Never touch your face, eyes, or nose after applying. Wash hands immediately or wear latex gloves – that chili will burn!
- Don’t apply on broken or cracked skin.
- It may take a few weeks of continuous use to feel its effect. Use several times per day for a couple of weeks to determine if it’s working for you.
- Use on joints that are close to the skin – hands, knees, etc.