Topical analgesics are creams, ointments, and balms that are rubbed onto the skin where you have joint pain. Most are available without a prescription and use one or more of the following to help control pain:
- Capsaicin – a natural pain-blocker found in cayenne peppers
- Counterirritants – menthol, oil of wintergreen, camphor, eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil, dihydrochloride, and methlnicotinate all distract your body from pain
- Salicylates – also found in many oral pain relievers, these work by blocking hormone-like substances in your body that add to pain.
One topical analgesic, Voltaren Gel, is available only by prescription.
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