Whether you are a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, or another type of clinician — you probably complement your treatment with topical pain relievers to help relieve muscle tension, and decrease minor pain symptoms.
But when thousands of creams, patches, gels, and sprays are at your disposal, how do you choose the best topical analgesics for your practice?
Topical analgesic options are endless, making it a difficult feat to find the right high-quality product for the right patient at the right time. Thus, the following guidelines are written for wellness practitioners to navigate the do’s and don’ts in choosing topical analgesics for their practices.
What are Topical Pain Relief Products?
Topical pain relief products, or analgesics, are rubbed into or sprayed onto the skin to relieve muscle soreness, loosen tight joints, or reduce inflammation.
The range of ingredients in these products are usually divided into three main categories: counterirritants, salicylates, and capsaicin.
- Counterirritants induce hot and cold sensations when applied topically to the skin, which diverts the brain from pain. The counterirritants are recognized for their stimulating and soothing properties. These pain-relief elements can be synthetically formulated or naturally-derived. Menthol or camphor, found in the oils of mint plants and camphor trees, are found in a myriad of pharmaceuticals including non-prescription topical analgesics.
- Salicylates refer to a group of chemicals derived from salicylic acid, a chemical found in poplar and willow trees. The natural or synthetically produced substance is the active ingredient in aspirin. They can help with the pain when they are rubbed into the skin— in addition to oral administration.
- Capsaicin is also an effective ingredient for topical pain relief, the active component of chili peppers. It is usually used to help with joint pain due to its warming effect upon application.
The Benefits of Topicals
When patients come to you for help, they’re most likely seeking a timely solution to their pain, even if they need long-term treatment to address the underlying cause of the pain. Therefore, using topical analgesics along with clinical treatments can help meet short-term goals while also focusing on the longer-term plan.
Our bodies contain a system of receptors and neurotransmitters located throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems that receive and transmit pain. The active ingredients in the topical analgesics such as menthol and camphor distract the brain from the pain with a cooling or heating sensation from the active ingredients.
By applying topicals directly to the area of pain, patients can target the area that needs relief. Hence, they get to the area faster than medicine dispersed internally in the body — especially if the products consist of only naturally-derived ingredients like jojoba oil.
They are a great alternative to oral medication, carrying fewer organ-damaging side effects than oral painkillers without the added risk of addiction caused by opioids. Thus, clinicians and clients alike are adopting topical pain relief as their go-to staple for their pain treatment regimen.
When used in conjunction with your treatment that targets the underlying condition, patients can enhance their recovery process.
As a health professional, your training and practice are backed by science. As such, when choosing a topical analgesic, it is crucial that these over-the-counter (OTC) products comprise of approved active ingredients such as menthol and camphor with scientifically proven results.
In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued tentative guidelines on approved active ingredients that could be used inside OTC products. There are some 800 OTC active ingredients, natural or synthetically produced, and more than 100,000 OTC products in the healthcare marketplace, according to the Consumer Health Products Association. While it has not been updated in considerable time to include recent research, pharmaceutical companies still use it as their definitive guidebook.
But with such a long, cumbersome list full of criteria, it can be a challenge to navigate through it to reach the right product.
Yet, the active ingredient is what defines the product as a scientifically-proven effective product for OTC relief. Without it, the product is merely deemed a cosmetic and subject to a completely different set of standards.
But it really doesn’t have to be that complicated for you. In truth, you only need to know three key elements in order to choose the right topical pain solution for your clinic. Check for the following:
- Pain relievers that contain naturally-derived ingredients: Choose products that use OTC active analgesic ingredients that abide by federal regulations. Avoid artificial dyes, synthetic scents, steroids, paraben preservatives, or phthalates, all of which may introduce unnecessary toxins and chemicals into the body.
- Products manufactured according to international quality standards: Topical products should be manufactured in a cGMP-audited facility, meaning that they fully comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure high-quality control standards. These practices are set by governmental agencies that control, authorize, and license the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products.
- Quality topicals available exclusively to health and wellness practitioners: Selling the products that you use with patients can help ensure patient comfort between sessions while offering you an additional source of revenue for your practice. Professional topicals differentiate your services and convey a high level of quality, especially as compared to typical retail pain products.
CBD CLINIC™: An Ideal Match for Your Practice
CBD CLINIC™ formulations for oils, ointments, creams and pain sticks are made with naturally-derived emollients that are readily absorbed by the skin.
The active analgesic ingredients such as menthol and camphor offer a cooling relief while emollients such as beeswax, jojoba seed oil, tea tree oil, and shea butter moisturize soothe the skin. CBD CLINIC™ products are blended with skin nourishing CBD hemp oil from the Cannabis sativa L plant, a THC-free, non-psychoactive, non-addictive compound found in the hemp plant.
CBD CLINIC™ temporary pain-relief formulas are produced in a cGMP-audited facility to ensure the highest quality standards. Since the formulations do not contain artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, steroids, parabens, petrolatum, or phthalates, you can rest assured that they are safe to use.
This professional line offers five formulations dosed according to a pain level system, so you, the medical professional, can use the appropriate formulation to match each patient’s symptoms. These high-end products are distributed exclusively to clinical professionals, supporting your practice with temporary pain relief that is effective and trustworthy.
Health and wellness professionals throughout the US, who have used CBD CLINIC™ products, report effectiveness in helping reduce muscle and joint pain.
Easing the Patient’s Road to Recovery
Your patients’ health is important to you. Help them get the most out of treatment and post-therapeutic recovery while building a trusted relationship – by using and recommending exclusive temporary pain-relief topicals that have natural ingredients and proven quality that you can depend on.