Advertisement

How do topical medications relieve foot pain?

Christopher Chiodo, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Topical pain medications are available in lotion, cream, or gel form. They are spread on the skin and penetrate inward to relieve some forms of mild foot pain. Some topical preparations -- such as those containing menthol, eucalyptus oil, or turpentine oil -- reduce pain by distracting the nerves with a different type of sensation. Another group delivers salicylates (the same ingredient as in aspirin) through the skin. A third group contains a chemical known as substance P, which is a neurotransmitter that appears to transmit pain signals to the brain. These creams contain a derivative of a natural ingredient found in cayenne pepper. For that reason, they may burn or sting when first applied.

Continue Learning about Pain Treatment

The Pain-Fighting Power of Saffron
The Pain-Fighting Power of Saffron
Did you know it takes 70,000 to 250,000 purple saffron crocuses to make one pound of the amber-red seasoning (it’s made from dried stigma, the part of...
Read More
Why can't we stop pain completely?
Devi E. Nampiaparampil, MDDevi E. Nampiaparampil, MD
Pain has a protective function in our body, which is why we don't want to stop it completely, says D...
More Answers
How much pain will I experience after ACDF surgery?
Intermountain Registered DietitiansIntermountain Registered Dietitians
After anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery, you may have a sore throat and trouble...
More Answers
What Is Cold Laser Therapy?
What Is Cold Laser Therapy?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.