Chronic pain sufferers have surrendered to the conclusion that cures are non-existent, root causes too deep and far gone to resolve without invasive surgery or addictive drugs.

Available, with a certain degree of safety designed for lives to be lived as normal as possible, are methods that have proven useful; those including positive thinking, exercise, diet, good music, books, poetry and art. The second line of defense includes massage, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments; acupuncture; over the counter non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory or NSAIDs, analgesics, and pain cream. The final is usually surgery and prescription pain medications that have their standard result stories from good to very bad.

This is why pain creams have gained popularity: availability, ease, and cost being some of the key factors.

If you are in North Carolina, you should check out North Carolina Pain Relief

“I am 82 years old and I had a lot of pain in my lower back and I also had it in my legs… Before I started to use [the new Rub-On-relief], if I had to rate my pain, it would have been a 9 on the pain scale and now it is ZERO!” says Bette D, Lake Forest California.

“I have had terrible arthritis for years. My pain is mostly at night and in both knees. Over the years I have tried all kinds of remedies, from pills to ointments. The only one that works for me is…cream that I apply on my knees each night. I can now get a good night’s sleep. Thank you for your product. Keep up the good work!”

“I have Osteoarthritis in my knees and hands and sometimes find it hard to even walk. I’ve used about every product on the market and find them lacking. I just started using this product and can already feel the difference,” says Alan from Durham, North Carolina. One doctor commented about his feelings about treating pain to his patients. “I love my job but the worst part is when I help people relieve pain I prescribe ulcers, liver damage and potential addiction at the same time,” Dr. Tom D Wichita, KS Cream for pain relief is relatively safe, especially those manufactured and sold in the United States. Regulated by the FDA; an over-the-counter (OTC) product can be purchased without a prescription. Pain cream manufacturers practice Good Manufacturing Practice or GMP. This ensures that the company follows strict guidelines to make sure that products are safe for use.

I travel to see the North Carolina Pain Relief Doctors and the North Carolina Pain Relief Group.

Should a person stop by at one such facility, he would be impressed by the process, conduct, raw material purities, sterility, packaging, quality assurance and control, delivery, and customer support.

Once in the hands of a consumer, pain creams are used to treat sore muscle, tendons, ligaments and joints due to soft tissue damage, injuries, over working out, strains, arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, fibromyalgia, lupus; the list goes on.

Basic ingredients found in pain cream start off with an oil or petroleum based ointment, gel or cream and then may include any one of the following in various batch combinations: Emu Oil; Glucosamine and Chondroitin; Capsicum; Dimethylsulfoxide; Aloe Vera; Arnica; Menthol; InflaThera or Zyflamend; Arnica; Aquamin (red seaweed supplement); SAM-e (S adenosylmethionine); Fish oil; Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) and other analgesics. Moisturizers and preservatives for natural based products are included to maintain shelf life and effectiveness. Based upon what’s used and the person’s affliction, results vary. Some creams cool the area to relieve inflamed muscles or joints; others provide heat to stimulate circulation. Others provide a general anesthetic result while some provide a combination of both. With certain ingredients, the creams’ properties are absorbed deeper into the muscle while keeping the skin moist and supple.

Natural and homeopathic practitioners claim that their products heal by bringing the natural balance to the human body. Scientists argue that without clinical trials, such claims cannot be made; that aside from some minor relief properties, creams provide, at best, a placebo effect.

As the ingredients profess certain relieving characteristics “Each herb has its own scientific database of evidence,” says James Dillard, MD, author of “The Chronic Pain Solution” which means that just because the raw material is in the product, it does not necessarily claim true effectiveness.

Regardless the argument; pain is real, and far be it for anyone to say a particular cream or ointment doesn’t work, when the belief system is so strong to say that it does.

Since many of these products are purchased from off-the-shelf or on the Internet, money spent on them could provide certain benefits.

The pain cream is applied by rubbing a small amount on the affected area. Though safe to apply with the bare hands, gloves are suggested when applying cream containing capsaicin. Other suggestions include not applying immediately after a hot bath or shower or with a heating pad. Avoid getting pain cream in eyes and other mucus membranes or broken skin. Study uses for pregnant or nursing women hasn’t been established and have been asked not to apply. Pain should be chronic in nature. Injured areas should wait several days before use.

Pain cream should not be ingested, applied on or near the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and genital areas and not on or near any open wounds.

The main side effect of using pain cream is that it can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the area, burning eyes, ringing in the ears, sneezing, coughing and skin redness. Higher doses can cause pain, inflammation, and skin blisters, or allergic reaction to the various ingredients contained in each of the different product. Many if not all of these side effects are minor and non-life threatening.

There have been no reported drug interactions with topical pain cream, but be sure, especially those with medical conditions, a chronic pain sufferer who wants to try any over-the-counter treatment should consult a physician if her or she has any concerns.

On another note and covering a different pain relief subject: “counting out loud” has been helpful for brief “needle stick” pain.

According to a recent Japanese study, patients that count backward from 100 out loud, during an injection, experienced less pain. Out of 46 patients who participated in this study only one of them could remember pain from the injection at all (among the 46 who didn’t count, 19 said the injection hurt and 10 recalled what it felt like).

Study author Tomoko Higashi, MD, of Yokohama City University Medical Center in Kanagawa, Japan Recitation postulated that counting out loud, back words, from 100 might have worked by distracting the brain from processing the sensation.

That “the trick” is probably only useful for short or acute periods, she added, “The degree of pain reduction really depends on how well patients concentrate on counting.”

Sometimes, not all the time, pain is all in the head.

100, 99, 98, 97…. (ouch!)