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Considering Personalized Topical Pain Relievers to Manage Pain

Updated on January 6, 2012
Pharmacies have come a long way.  I like how this neat old one looks.
Pharmacies have come a long way. I like how this neat old one looks. | Source

There is no way to get out of having some pain in life, and we all deal with it to some degree. I wanted to talk about topical pain relievers and management, as some people may have never thought about it or considered it.

There are many doctors that will consider recommending a topical pain reliever if needed. There are special compounding pharmacies also that help with such topical pain relievers. They focus on compounding and individualized medicine for people. You may have to seek out this kind of treatment on your own, as many doctors don't consider it and prescribe mostly oral medications for patients in pain. You will need to ask your doctor, or ask for recommendations. You will be amazed at what you can find out simply by asking questions and making some calls.

What kind of problems are topical pain medications ideal for?

Topical pain management isn't ideal for everyone in all situations. Some conditions they are good for include but are not limited to:


*Localized or acute injuries

*Nerve Pain

*Phantom Limb Pain

*General Muscle and Joint Pain

Some basic information to know and understand to see if you may want to pursue topical pain relief

Many insurance companies will over topical pain creams, which is a great thing. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor, doctors office staff and insurance what is an option for you in your case. Often certain specialty pharmacies that compound formulas for patients have management case coordinators that can be of great help in answering your questions. Often they can help to determine exact costs that you will have to pay if any. Ask also about shipping options out there that may save you a lot of time and even money.

There are many reasons why doctors might want to go the route of a topical pain medicine for you. They can include:

*Decreased risk of different drug interactions.

*Very minimal side effects compared to other types of medicines using systemic delivery.

*Having a lower systemic drug level, a great advantage.

*Highest concentration of drug right at the site of an injury.

*High flexibility rate to combine several different drugs into one preparation, having just enough of each. Then, adjusting as needed. Stay in communication with your doctor on how each is working for you.

Understanding how pain works, and why more than one drug is sometimes needed to address the different pain scenarios going on.

Sometimes the pain we feel is inflammatory, or it can be neuropathic in nature. There are many kinds of pain, and sometimes the pain you may feel is a combination of different types of pain. Having a medication targeting each kind of pain, with a different mechanism of action, can target pain at different angles giving the greatest possible relief. Many topical pain compounding pharmacists can combine these different medicines into one prescription. This can save you a lot of money potentially.

Understanding what kinds of medicines can be put into a topical pain cream.

It is common to hear of two or more of the following kinds o medications being put into one topical preparation. These can include Adjunct pain relievers which block transmission of a pain signal to the brain. Another can be an anesthetic, put right at the site of the pain. There can be muscle relaxants used as well. One last type is a nonsteroidal or anti inflammatory drug. These offer quick pain relief when there is inflammation involved. This helps the swelling or redness in different joints and tissues. Which in turn helps to relieve your pain, and help one to feel a bit more mobile than they did when experiencing the pain.

The idea of a compounding formula made just for your pain needs makes a lot of sense. You don't have too much of one drug, and not enough of another, and right where you need it most. Many people just have never thought about it as a pain relieving option. I think its a brilliant idea and seems to really help people that are debilitated by pain especially. Perhaps their stomachs cannot tolerate the high dosages, or perhaps they have to take other internal medicines that the interaction may prove to be a problem. The results can be wonderful with a topical pain option.

These topical pain solutions are not for everyone. Please always ask your doctor when applying or taking any medication, and keep notes, be in good communication with your health care provider. While ideal for patients that may have a difficult time swallowing for whatever reason, or have a sensitive digestive tract, they may not be good for those with overly sensitive skin or broken skin. If your skin is raw over a large surface area, you may not want to take this route. Again discuss all matters with your doctor. One great thing to do is take a list of questions with you to the doctor, as time can fly by and you may forget all you wanted to ask when there.

Make sure to always tall all other prescriptions or drugs you are taking. You want to minimize possible drug interaction or allergies if you can help it. If pregnant or nursing a baby, you want to of course be in contact about all medicines, topical or systemic types.

If you decide to go the route of a compounding formula to address your pain needs, your doctor or pharmacist should be more than happy to discuss application methods to you. You need to know that there are still times prescribed just like other medicines. Make sure to have clean and dry skin. Always, if you have a question, call your pharmacist and doctor.

I hope that someone might consider going this route, especially if other means have failed you so far. Its great to know there are options for people out there struggling with pain. To begin a search, I would recommend asking about Topical Pain Management, and/or Compounding Individualized Medicine Pharmacies. That should point you in the right direction.


Do you know of someone who could benefit from personalized topical pain relief, like is mentioned here? Whether now or in the past?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Emma, thanks for your post. I am sorry to hear about your foot fracture, and hope you are following the directions your doctor has given you for healing. Pain and swelling are indicators that something is wrong, and I would seek out medical attention for that. Perhaps some doctors will come and give some tips, but during this critical stage of healing, I would definitely be under a doctors care.

      Happy to hear that topical pain relievers can help you sometimes. I know of many people that are very happy with the results.

    • Emma Jones profile image

      Emma Jones 5 years ago from New York, New York

      very nice and informative post about pain relievers. Even I am using topical pain relievers when i m in acute pain. Actually these days I am suffering from swelling on my left foot because of a fracture, Its like more4 than one month and I guess the bone have started healing but swelling is still there due to which I am not able to walk at all.

      any tips and medication suggestions from experts please?

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Mary, thank you! You ARE so lucky to not have to deal with pain, how wonderful. You do strike me as a very happy and healthy woman overall. Glad you stopped by and left a comment. Its great to know it helps the horses also, and doesn't surprise me. Goodnight friend. :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Good info here! I'm lucky in that I never have any pain of any kind. I've had four backaches in my life and that's when I was in labor. Dr. Hyatt used topical ointments for pain in horses,though. They seemed to work. Goodnight.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Kevin, thanks for your visit and comment and votes. So glad that you benefit from topical pain relievers. That is so great to hear.

      Mathira, that is great to hear that you use topical pain relievers for your acute pain. I think many others can benefit from the same kind of help if they ever experience severe pain. Many don't realize they can get so much help from topical pain relievers. It is all still rather new to me, so I appreciate hearing how others have benefited.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 6 years ago from chennai

      I do use topical pain reliever when in acute pain and thanks for your informative hub.

    • kevins blog52 profile image

      kevins blog52 6 years ago from southern Indiana

      Thanks for the read oceansnsunsets, that was interesting, I use some topical pain relievers, for sore mussels, and joint pain and I find it very effective.I voted you up and interesting.