Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative joint disease that affects more than 21 million people in the United States. The most common symptoms are pain, stiffness, reduced joint range of motion and limitations to normal activities such as getting up from a chair, walking, balance and strength, and walking up and down stairs.
Pain-reducing medications such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and COX-2 inhibitors have been common treatments for osteoarthritis in the growing elderly population. However, these medications often have painful side effects or do not react well with other medications.
A new study shows the addition of menthol to topical creams provides significant pain relief and improvements in physical performance for people with osteoarthritis.
One proven alternative treatment is the use of oral and/or a topical blend of cetylated fatty acids. However recently researchers added menthol to this cream. Researchers assigned 10 patients with knee osteoarthritis, 10 with wrist osteoarthritis, and eight with elbow osteoarthritis to an experimental group based on the location of the diagnosed osteoarthritis. Each patient applied the cream to the affected area twice a day every day for one week.
It was observed that the topical cream with menthol produced significant improvements in physical performance and reduced pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and elbow.