A Message to Consider
Cheap, easy access to oral narcotics such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, combined with pressure to prescribe them during the “pain is a vital sign” era, led to high rates of abuse, trafficking, dependence, and mortality. Similarly, benzodiazepines (Valium and the like), at doses sufficient for muscle relaxation, are sedating and habit-forming. Prednisone is of course a hormone and should be minimized. Gabapentin and pregabalin present a suicide risk that may be much larger than reported. And so, the world is now waking up to the realization that pills and injections may not be the complete answer to pain. Furthermore, whenever pain is localized to one area or joint, it is a bit difficult to justify giving drugs systemically, with whole-body exposure providing ample opportunities for side effects. Therapies that are instead focused specifically and locally on the affected/painful area include not only topical medicaments, but a wide range of approaches including PT, surgery, wound dressings, cryotherapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and numerous others. There is no reason why a safe and potent pain cream can’t take a front seat in medical, as well as personal, treatment of pain and degenerative conditions.