Oh how it hurts to be a weekend warrior…… By Kiersten Alton, RPH,
I love the spring. The grass is being revealed from beneath the snow and I know that soon I will be able to do yard work and begin planting my garden. This time of year also means I will be using muscles that have been dormant all winter. The aches and pains associated with my weekend hobbies can sometimes be debilitating. There are lots of weekend warriors who hobble in to work on Monday because they have aggravated an old injury or created a new one from their weekend activities. Many people do not like to take an oral anti inflammatory for muscle aches and pain. I use a topical anti-inflammatory in place of oral Ibuprofen.
There are many benefits to topical treatment of inflammation which include: less stomach upset, no risk of Gastrointestinal ulcers, no damage to the kidneys or liver and you get to treat the area that hurts directly instead of putting something in your blood stream that travels throughout your entire body. There are many different types of topical pain medications which can be made by a compounding pharmacist. At Big Sky Specialty Compounding we specialize in topical pain management. Creams can be created with magnesium in them to help with muscle spasms along with agents for nerve pain or inflammation.
Tendonitis of the elbow, shoulder or knees can be particularly difficult to treat with oral anti-inflammatory medications. Many people do not realize the risks associated with taking OTC medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Someone I know recently went to the hospital with a gastrointestinal bleed, caused by taking Ibuprofen on an empty stomach. Tendonitis in the joints can be very painful and debilitating. I once had tendonitis in both elbows caused by running the Rota tiller in my garden too much. I could barely carry my children and turning a door handle almost brought tears to my eyes. It gave me new appreciation for the pain my patients endure when dealing with these types of chronic injuries. Topical medications with Ketoprofen and a
numbing agent called Procaine can help with both the pain and help the tendonitis go away faster.
If you suffer from lower back pain but still want to enjoy a game of golf this summer, then topical anti-inflammatory medications might be of use to you. Magnesium works topically to help relax the muscles. It can be used before you exercise or perform an activity that might cause your back to spasm. It will not cause any drowsiness or interact with any oral medications.
A Compounding Pharmacist’s job is to create customized medications for each patient based on their own individual needs. This type of treatment is especially beneficial when there are not a lot of commercially available options or if you can not tolerate the side effects of oral medication.
If you suffer from nerve pain that has not responded to oral medications, then there may be a topical which could be created to help your pain. There are many topical options for nerve pain. The goal of treatment is to help calm down the nerve ending. Initially, you may have to apply the cream three to four times a day, but many times after you get the nerve ending calmed down, the cream can be applied once or twice a day. Nerve pain in the hands and feet responds well to topical treatment. If you have a spine injury, the cream can be applied directly where the injury or surgery occurred. Topical creams also work well for sports injuries and for use during rehabilitation after knee or shoulder surgery. If you skied a million vertical feet this year and are feeling it in your hips and back, topical anti-inflammatory medications may help your pain. These medications do require a prescription. If you would like more information about topical treatment of aches and pains, contact a local compounding pharmacist, such as myself, and let us help you.
406 Woman April May 2011