Joint pain and inflammation can be quite unpleasant, but the best arthritis creams may ease those symptoms. There are many over-the-counter creams, gels, and rubs that mitigate swelling, pain, and stiffness from arthritis. While arthritis pain relief treatment is multifaceted and different for every individual, topical treatments may help.
How do topical arthritis creams work?
Many people with arthritis use topical treatments to dull their pain, alone or alongside prescription medications. Topical treatments, which are available in creams, gels, sprays, and roll-ons, are absorbed through the skin. Due to the way they are absorbed, topical pain medications are most effective when they are rubbed on the joints that are closest to the skin’s surface, such as the joints in your hands or knees. As always, you should consult with your doctor on your pain management regime.
What are the best arthritis creams made out of?
Capsaicin, counterirritants, and salicylates are the most common active ingredients found in over-the-counter topical arthritis treatments.
- Capsaicin: When applied to the skin regularly, capsaicin activates specific nerve receptors, preventing them from processing pain signals properly. Many studies have shown that capsaicin effectively reduces pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia, according to the Arthritis Foundation. In a 2010 German study, joint pain decreased by nearly 50 percent after using 0.05 percent capsaicin cream for three weeks.
- Counterirritants: Menthol and camphor are counterirritants, which produce heating or cooling sensations when rubbed on the skin. These sensations temporarily reject your ability to feel joint pain.
- Salicylates: Salicylates have the pain-relieving substance found in aspirin. If you are taking blood thinners or you are allergic to aspirin, talk to your doctor before using a topical treatment that contains salicylates.
Just like the best can openers, raised toilet seats, or nail clippers for those with arthritis, arthritis creams can make life much easier. Whether you have chronic joint pain, sore muscles, or minor aches, we have researched the best arthritis creams for you. Scroll down to see the top 12 best-rated arthritis creams on the market below!