Don’t Let Your Back Pain Stop You: Use Back Pain Patches
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), at any given time, around 31 million Americans experience low-back pain. Medical experts estimated that possibly 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Around 50% of the working class each year claimed that they experienced back pain.
- Mild Injuries such as sprained ligaments, strain muscles, ruptured disks, irritated joints.
- Sports injuries.
- Poor posture.
- Psychological stress.
Different Back Pain Patches
Over-the-counter patches are readily available to provide pain relief for a number of conditions such as back pain. A back pain patch is a thin adhesive bandage-like medication that are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Patches may contain either menthol, camphor, capsaicin, or methyl salicylate. Capsaicin and methyl salicylate create warm sensation while menthol provides cooling sensation. The patch is sticked to the skin. The medication then sips through the skin and provides pain relief. Capsaicin, camphor, and menthol patch is good for muscle strain, soreness and lower back pain. Meanwhile, methyl salicylate patch, related to aspirin, is good for both pain and inflammation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, topical anaesthetics work by numbing the nerves in the skin beneath the patch. The active ingredients inflame the area near the painful spot to stimulate the nerves to lessen the pain. The patches are distracting the body from the more intense pain.
Back pain patches need 20 to 45 minutes before you can feel thorough relief as the medication needs time to pass through the adhesive and go through the skin and the circulatory system. They can provide up to 8 to hours of relief. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, back pain patches prevent you from having gastrointestinal side effects and internal bleeding that sometimes result from taking pills.
Fentanyl patches are narcotic pain relievers doctors commonly prescribe to treat chronic pain. According to Mayo Clinic, fentanyl works through the central nervous system to provide long-term pain relief. You can only avail of fentanyl patches with a doctor’s prescription. Transdermal fentanyl patches should only be applied on the skin. They are packed so that they should only be opened when you are about to use it. A study led by Dr. Laurie Allan, a consultant anaesthetist at Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex, London revealed that 50-60% of the 680 patients said that Fentanyl patches offered better round-the-clock back pain relief.
According to the American Cancer Society, lidocaine patches are local anaesthetics that doctors commonly use to treat tingling, burning or stinging pain like that of shingles. A study showed that patients with moderate to severe (acute to long-term) lower back pain showed significant improvement in their average daily pain intensity and quality of life starting the second week of application. Around 58% of the patients said they were satisfied to very satisfied with the treatment. You can apply the lidocaine patch up to 12 hours on skin.
- The back pain patches should only be applied on small areas of skin and never be applied on open wounds.
- The Food and Drug Administration warned not to use a heating pad and patches at the same time because it can cause burns.
- Do not wear patches during exercising. Your body may absorb more of the medication than what is intended since exercising can increase blood circulation.
- Using patches too often for long periods of time may cause you to develop allergic reactions.
- Minimize using methyl salicylate patch if you are already taking aspirin or any medication related to it.
- Pregnant women should be wary of using patches.
- Lidocaine patches may interact with other drugs, especially those used to treat heart conditions.
- Fentanyl patches may induce hallucinations and/or reduce urine production. Other side effects include mood changes, fainting, chest pain and redness where the patch was placed.
- Side effects of lidocaine patches include lightheadedness, vomiting, blurred vision or rashes on the applied part.
- Topical anaesthetics may cause swelling and redness after application. Other possible side effects include headaches, anxiety, drowsiness or sweating.
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Gimbel, J, R. Linn, M. Hale, B. Nicholson (2005). Lidocaine patch treatment in patients with low back pain: results of an open-label, nonrandomized pilot study. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16041194
How to decide on whether a topical treatment is right for you (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/01/pain-relief-without-pills/index.htm
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Ray, Linda (2013). What Kind of Pain Patches Are There? Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/282266-what-kind-of-pain-patches-are-there/