3 Topical Options To Reduce Musculoskeletal Pain

Posted on: 17 December 2020

Muscle spasms, injuries, and arthritis are among the most common types of musculoskeletal pain. Although oral medications can help, they can cause gastrointestinal problems, especially if taken frequently. Integrating topical options into your pain management strategy can reduce side effects while being effective for pain.


Lidocaine cream is now available over the counter (OTC) as a way to numb pain. It works best for superficial pains on areas where it is easier for the lidocaine cream to be absorbed and reach the target area, such as hands or other places where bones and muscles are closer to the skin. It may also be helpful for nerve pain that radiates from the muscles or bones. Patches may be a better option for some people since the lidocaine can be held against the skin for longer periods. Unlike other topical options, lidocaine does little to improve inflammation, so it should be used with anti-inflammatory products.

Voltaren Gel

Voltaren gel is a newer OTC product used to reduce pain, especially arthritis pain. The product is a topical preparation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Unlike lidocaine, which temporarily numbs the pain, voltaren gel works differently. Since it is an anti-inflammatory medication, it reduces pain by decreasing inflammation. Voltaren gel can take time to reach the optimum effects. If you have occasional pain, apply it as needed. For chronic pain, you may need to apply the product multiple times per day for several days before you notice a significant difference in pain.

CBD Products

CBD products are available in different forms, but topical preparations, such as a topical hemp CBD lotion, are the best way to target musculoskeletal pain. Regardless of the way you use CBD, you need to use it for a while before you can determine whether it is effective. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it may work best for arthritis or acute musculoskeletal injuries. Some people who have tried CBD may erroneously believe it is ineffective because they tried the wrong type.

Some products are marketed as a CBD isolate, which may be effective, but trying full-spectrum or broad-spectrum products may be a better option. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products contain several types of CBD that may have a synergistic effect and can be more effective than a CBD isolate. Additionally, you need to use products with the highest concentration of CBD, otherwise you may not notice any benefits.

Topical treatments for musculoskeletal pain are a good way to treat pain while minimizing drug interactions or side effects. If one topical treatment is not effective, consider trying multiple topical treatments simultaneously for maximum benefits.