Arthritis Cream: Does It Really Work?

There are many gels and arthritis creams that can safely and effectively be used as alternative arthritis treatment for a severe flare in your rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. But what are in these creams, and do they really work. The number one priority for relieving your arthritis pain is to reduce inflammation and swelling. Most arthritis creams are made to reduce inflammation and kill the pain. However, the effects are only temporary, and you should really be looking to decrease the inflammation by means of oral supplementation, but more on this later…

One ingredient often contained in these arthritis creams is Arnica, a medicinal herb that has been used for hundreds of years for bruises sprains, and backache. It is popular with athletes, especially long distance runners who are looking for localised pain relief for the long run. In terms of its benefits for osteoarthritis, one study showed it to be as effective as gel containing ibuprofen when applied twice daily for three weeks. It is seldom used internally, as it causes stomach upset. There are however homeopathic preparations available in pill form.

Another effective ingredient in arthritis cream is celadrin, another anti-inflammatory agent used to treat the symptomatic pain of osteoarthritis. It is essentially a matrix of fatty acid carbons. It has been shown to improve the range of motion of joints and people with arthritis of the knee can stand for longer and walk further before the pain becomes too bad. Some research claims that it lubricates cell membranes, leading to better fluidity and elasticity. The result is therefore better movement in the affected joint. Celadrin works quite quickly; benefits can be felt after one week of twice daily application.

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilli peppers. When used as an arthritis cream, capsaicin can be applied to sore muscles and joints to relieve inflammation and pain. Capsaicin relieves pain in two ways: It can interfere with the enzymes causing the inflammation in the joint, and it can interfere with the pain impulses sent to the nervous system. The relief you feel is only temporary, so it needs to be applied at least twice a day. If this means you can get by with fewer painkillers (NSAIDs), you have won a small battle against your arthritis. Capasiacin can also be taken orally as an effective way to relieve migraines, headaches and cluster headaches because of acting in on the nerve pathways. Some preliminary tests also show that it inhibits the growth of prostrate cells in petri dishes and slowed the growth of tumors in mice. It is also know to relieve sinus pain and relieves congestion. Furthermore, cultures eating a lot of chillies have a lower occurrence of heart disease. This is because capsaicin reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels.