Menthol for Arthritis: Can It Treat Arthritis Pain?
CreakyJoints discusses the use of menthol to ease joint pain associated with arthritis with guidance from experts including Faye Rim, MD, FAAPMR, physiatrist and pain management specialist at HSS.
Dr. Rim explained, “Menthol works [for pain relief] in two ways. One is as a counter-irritant. When you rub it in, it causes another sensation that distracts from your underlying pain. Menthol also creates a cooling sensation, like an ice pack, that can desensitize nerve endings.”
Dr. Rim said, “It doesn’t provide long-lasting relief, but it may be beneficial to use right before painful activities.” However, she advised checking with a doctor first to make sure that it’s okay to engage in an activity that would otherwise be too uncomfortable.
People with any kind of arthritis can try menthol. “That said, autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is more complex than osteoarthritis, so patients will need to use stronger medications in general,” advised Dr. Rim.
Menthol products come in a variety of formulations. Choosing one may depend on where it will be used and how often. “Some people like the convenience of a patch, some like to rub in creams or gels,” added Dr. Rim.
Read the full article at Creakyjoints.org.