I’ve been dealing with chronic pain for a long time now, I know it’s not as long as some of you, but it’s been a while. Over the last eight years I’ve tried a number of things to help reduce my pain and some of them have worked really well while others haven’t worked well at all. I won’t bother telling you about things that didn’t work for me, even though I realize that what works for one may not work for others and vice versa. But, I thought I would share a few products with you that have helped me.
The list below is in the order that I found these products. In a way I’d say I’ve graduated up this list, but at the same time I still use them each at different times.
1. Icy Hot Patches – Back in 2008 when the TMJ first hit I lived with Icy Hot patches. We bought them in bulk at CostCo that’s how much I used them. I would have my neck and shoulders wrapped in them. Thankfully, they last a long time (about 8 hours or so) and they really do help. Perhaps it’s the icy hotness distracting from the pain, or something in it that helps relax muscles. I still reach for them on occasion if I find muscles getting really tight. They are nice because they cover a large area and they last, with no need to reapply a lotion or rub. Of course, they are also made of all sorts of chemicals and after a while of using them regularly my skin starts to look a little burnt.
2. Volcano Oil – I don’t recall how I stumbled across this product but it was the first natural topical treatment I found that helped me. I remember being up in the mountains of NC after a day of walking around Ashville and just being in such intense pain. I had my husband just cover me in this stuff and I was able to finally fall asleep. I still keep a jar of the gel and a bottle of the oil around the house. I keep the oil in my purse because it’s easy to apply on the go. Plus the essential oils in it smell amazing. More info.
3. The Fay Farms Warming CBD Muscle Rub – How much have I talked about this stuff? So much. And, there’s a reason. I love this stuff. I was so skeptical when they first sent it to me. I’d been dealing with my (still undiagnosed) shoulder problem and I was in so much pain when it showed up, but it helped. It was the first thing that did help that shoulder pain. If I use it regularly it actually keeps that pain from becoming too obnoxious. Fay Farms website. (BTW, don’t forget to enter code: SPOONS to get 10% off your order, if you are in the US they’ll also give you free shipping).
4. No Mo Pain Stick – A while back Keri at Mo’s Dream Cream sent me a bottle of their lotion and one of these sticks. I didn’t get much relief from the lotion but the stick was quite amazing. I think it has something to do with it being more highly concentrated in the stick. This stick is another one of those great things to keep in my bag for on-the-go. The stick makes it easy to apply and the capcacium in the cream is a sure fire (pun intended) way to relieve pain. That said, hot pepper oil on acne prone skin isn’t always a great match, so I do have to be careful.
All of these products have been really helpful and while I may reach for one over the other on a regular basis, in the end I still use each and every one of these at different times and for different reasons. My tightness and pain in my neck (disc issues and TMJ) I typically go for The Fay Farms or Volcano Oil. If my back, shoulders, or neck is so tight it’s trying to cinch up, I’ll grab the Icy Hot patches, and for my shoulder pain I go for The Fay Farms or the Mo’s Stick.
What about you? What’s your go-to topical pain reliever?