#575 – Review: Salonpas Pain Relief Patch

For the past several months, I've been seeing advertisements for Salonpas Pain Relief Patches.

Then, one of those serendipitous moments occurred. I was asked by Vorticom, a PR group, if I was interested in writing a post reviewing the large Salonpas Pain Relief Patch.

First, I wanted to do a trial of the patch. I had just the spot that needed some TLC from an OTC (tender loving care from an over-the-counter topical analgesic with approval from the FDA)!

Disclaimer: While I did receive 2 packages of the patches to trial, I do not receive any benefits from Hisamitsu America, the makers of Salonpas Pain Relief patches. Please consult your physician to see if this is a good option for you.

My Experience with the Salonpas Pain Relief Patch

Occasionally, after sitting for a while, either in the car or at the computer, my lower back begins to hurt. I never had this issue prior to breaking my second lumbar vertebra. The odd thing is that I can go weeks without pain, then it seems any amount of sitting will trigger it.

Normally, when my back clamours for attention, I get up, go for a walk and it settles down. However, I needed to get a project completed, so I decided to give the large Salonpas a try.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the scent. Ooooo - I love the smell of menthol! As I wrote on Stress, a Sense of Smell and Essential Oils, a particular scent can transport you back to an earlier event, whether stress-producing or not. Menthol reminds me of Vick's VapoRub, which reminds me of my mom and her ministrations during the cold and flu season.

Once the package was open, which wasn't difficult, it was easy to peel off the backing on the patch. Obviously, the end-user was considered when the packaging was made, unlike some other  "arthritis-friendly" products that require a chain-saw to open.

I stuck the patch on and went back to work. Apart from the invigorating scent of menthol, I forgot that I had it on. I also forgot about the pain in my back. Hmmm - that's encouraging for a first time user.

A Chance to Reduce Ototoxicity?

Like a few of the surgeries I've had, I prefer a localized treatment as opposed to the general, system-wide one. The fact that I don't have to swallow an analgesic is a huge plus, since I believe the bottles of acetaminophen and ibuprofen that I swallowed years ago was one of the contributing factors to my hearing loss.

Researchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital found evidence that:

"The duration of use of over-the-counter medications for pain relief, including ibuprofen or acetaminophen, is associated with higher risk of hearing loss."

From my Health Central post entitled Hearing Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

"Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, some disease-modifying anti-inflammatory drugs (DMARDs) and salicylates have been implicated in hearing loss. My audiologist wisely reminded me that the fear of hearing loss should not preclude using antibiotics and NSAIDs when needed."

The Salonpas Pain Relief Patch is an attractive alternative for me.

The Benefits of the Salonpas Pain Relief Patch:

  • Speed of onset. It begins to work in one hour.
  • Time to efficacy. The patch demonstrated clinically meaningful pain relief in the first day and improved range of motion.
  • It's easy to apply.
  • The dose is pre-measured in the patch.
  • Up to 12 hours of relief.
  • Ccan be used for multiple pains.

Dr. Bob Arnot, over the course of his career as a physician, Chief Medical Correspondent and War Correspondent, has been exposed to a wide variety of pain management drugs and approaches. He says:

"One thing I’ve seen is that the United States is much more reliant on taking pills for pain than the rest of the world, where topical analgesics, physical therapy and other approaches are more widely used.The reliance on pills, many of which come with side effects that can be severe when used in greater quantities than labeled or for longer than labeled has led me to conclude for muscle, back and joint pains it’s best to start with Topicals First."

Always check with your doctor before using any new product, including the Salonpas Pain Relief Patch.

 Another OTC Option to Treat Your Pain

"In regard to the FDA new drug approval process, there is a new over-the-counter option for arthritis sufferers." - Dr. Bob Arnot

On February 14, 2020 the Food and Drug administration approved Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for OTC use.

Dr. Bob's Suggestions

If you are an arthritis sufferer and want to consider this product:

  • It’s not labeled for immediate relief, something to think about if you are in pain now. It may take up to seven days to achieve relief.
  • Dosing can be cumbersome as you need to squeeze a length of gel next to a dosing card. There are two doses depending on the size of the joints you are treating. This can be repeated up to four times a day.
  • Voltaren can only be used on six joints and has not been proven effective for any other pains such as back aches or muscle strains.

Always check with your doctor before using any new product, including Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel.

"As a physician, I recommend topicals first and I have shared some great options to safely and effectively relieve your pain." - Dr. Bob Arnot

For me, it's important to do the least amount of harm, while maintaining quality of life. I haven't yet had reason to use another one, but I'm glad to have Salonpas Pain Relief patches in my DIY pain relief toolbox!

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