Prescription creams, gels, and patches can ease arthritis pain. Typical prescription products that contain NSAIDs work by reducing levels of inflammatory compounds in achy joints, and can ease pain. (Most over-the-counter topicals just heat or cool the skin.)
One recent review found that when people with osteoarthritis used topical NSAIDs, more than half said their pain decreased by 50 percent or moreover six to 12 weeks. Topicals can cause irritation and skin reactions, so test on a small area first. Never use on broken skin, if you’re taking oral NSAIDs, or if you have kidney disease. And follow label directions to ensure the correct dose.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health August 2018
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