What should I use to get rid of the pain?
Voltaren in the form of a gel is recommended for different kinds of pain in the back, neck, joints, and muscles. The pain can have different cause and origin. Voltaren is useful for pain caused by the inflammatory and degenerative process (radiculitis, osteoarthritis, lumbago, sciatica), rheumatoid arthritis, joint inflammation, and muscle or joint trauma, sprains, redness and swelling of soft tissues. Let’s briefly describe the diseases.
The situation with gout, or “noble disease,” is obvious: it develops because of the accumulation of urate in tissues, so diet and active lifestyle can help the condition.
Radiculitis is the disease of the spinal cord. Elderly patients often suffer from lumbosacral radiculitis in which affects the lower back. Sudden movements increase the pain and shoot it in the leg. The patient bends his leg when he tries to reduce pain. Sciatica is a kind of radiculitis when the sciatic nerve is affected. Unlike previous conditions, lumbago is not even a disease in the most real sense of the word. It causes sharp pain in the lower back.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex joint disease in which many small joints are affected. Since rheumatoid arthritis does not have one apparent cause, you don’t know what to treat first: inflammation, infection, autoimmune reactions or with other problems. But you would need something to handle the pain.
Different reasons can cause these diseases, but all of them are associated with pain and inflammation. Sometimes the diseases are curable; sometimes they are chronic. Voltaren is an anti-inflammatory and anesthetic drug that can come to the rescue. Let’s see how Voltaren works.
The main active ingredient of Voltaren is diclofenac, in the form of diclofenac sodium. Diclofenac appeared in 1966 and became one of the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, ketoprofen, aspirin and other acetic acid derivatives. At that time, scientists already understood the approximate structure of the molecule they wanted to get, so the discovery was not accidental but a result of a systematic search.
The review of scientific articles on Voltaren in the form of gels, creams, and patches shows that although the mechanism of its action is not entirely clear, it is efficient. It penetrates the soft tissues next to the joint and concentrated in the synovial fluid inside the joint. The concentration of diclofenac reaches a level 20 times higher than in the blood.
According to recent scientific articles, the drug enters the bloodstream better if it is administered intramuscularly. However, the patch is preferred because the side effects are reduced. With the patch, the less diclofenac circulates in the blood, the less it binds the cyclooxygenase.
Diclofenac has been used for a long time and studied very well, so information about it can be found everywhere. Therefore, for the evaluation, it is better to select the studies that meet particular criteria and to avoid subjective conclusions and prejudice. There are many clinical trials to prove its efficiency.
Like Ketoprofen, Diclofenac in the form of gels and ointments fights pain in bones and muscles much better than placebo. The scientists analyzed studies on more than ten thousand patients. Most subjects were over 40 years old and suffered from knee pain due to arthritis. Only about 20% of patients developed minor side effects (skin irritation, redness, allergic reactions, and so on). By the way, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the same percentage of side effects.
Another review concludes that Diclofenac when applied topically, relieves pain in arthritis and rheumatoid diseases. The authors also add that Diclofenac reduces inflammation in patients.
Cochrane reviews systematized the research data that tested several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including diclofenac on thirty thousand patients. For patients with arthritis and arthrosis of elbows and knees, Diclofenac has become an effective analgesic. But the postoperative neuralgia was better treated with capsaicin (a component derived from hot pepper). Other drugs did not show a strong effect.
We recommend Voltaren when it is effective for pain relief but not for all cases.
Voltaren can help with rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases that cause a lot of problems in older people. Remember, that although a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can do an excellent job of reducing pain and inflammation, it can also mask the symptoms. It does not treat joint deterioration, the pinched nerves or other internal cause of the disease. The painkillers only hide the disease but do not fight it.
When diseases are chronic, medicine only reduces the patient’s suffering. It is done because managing inflammation and reducing pain can significantly improve patients quality of life.
So Diclofenac in the form of gels and patches, including Voltaren, can be very useful for pain. Sophisticated treatment of the disease is required. Ignoring the underlying causes of the disease, you can also develop side effects of the digestive system and kidneys.
Besides, it has been proven that prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, people with diseases of the blood vessels and the heart should avoid taking drugs of this group. The caution should be exercised with tablets because more active substance gets into the blood. The gels or patches are safer because they deliver the active substance to a specific area (for example, a sick joint).