Living with any type of arthritis can be really uncomfortable. There a great deal of pain, inflammation, irritation, and swelling, with the additional possibility of limitation in your ability to move. This is why arthritis sufferers are always looking for new options when it comes to pain relief, and thankfully, there are many to choose from.
In addition to exercise, natural remedies, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers in the form of oral medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen), there are also OTC topical creams that can help relieve arthritis pain. These topical treatments come in the form of creams, lotions, and gels. Most products can be purchased at your local drug store and online. What’s even better is that you don’t need a prescription to purchase them!
To help learn more about what’s available and which creams work best, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective OTC creams for treating arthritis….
How Do Arthritis Creams Work?
When applied to the skin, the active ingredients in arthritis creams provide relief by absorbing into the skin, right down to the joint. While most of these creams only provide short-term relief, they are known for being quick and effective. For the best results, use these creams on joints that are close to the surface of the skin, such as the hands and knees. If used regularly, any of these creams could be the key to living a pain-free life with arthritis.
The active ingredients in arthritis creams responsible for providing relief are salicylates, counterirritants, and capsaicin. In particular, salicylates are able to reduce any inflammation and irritation, as well as decrease pressure and pain in the joints, says Healthline. Some brands may also include menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, or cinnamon oil. Other ingredients such as capsaicin, an element found in chili peppers, work to reduce pain by blocking the skin’s pain receptors.