Arthritis cream is something that people apply directly to the area that hurts to get temporary relief. Arthritis cream is not meant to cure arthritis. It is only designed to allow an arthritis sufferer to get on with his day. There are several active ingredients in the average arthritis cream, but they all use different ingredients to get the job done. There are a few common ingredients that are used in a vast majority of the over the counter arthritis treatments that people may or may not recognize. It helps to have an understanding of the different active ingredients you are applying to your body when you are fighting the pain of arthritis.
Some arthritis cream ingredients use diversion tactics to relieve the pain. When you see the term counterirritants on an arthritis cream bottle, then you are dealing with diversionary ingredients. Elements such as menthol or eucalyptus do not have a hand in relieving pain. These are put in arthritis cream to divert the feeling of pain by causing a burning sensation on the surface of the skin. The body focuses on the burning sensation at the knee and tends to forget about the arthritis pain. As you can imagine, this tactic is temporary. But it can be extremely effective.
Another active ingredient in arthritis cream is an element referred to as salicylates. These are put in to arthritis cream to work in much the same way that aspirin or ibuprofen does. When you put arthritis cream with salicylates on your skin, it goes to work reducing the inflammation and reducing the pain. But the ingredients in this element also have the same kind of effect on the body as aspirin. That is why people who are allergic to aspirin should avoid salicylates. Women who are pregnant and people who are on blood-thinning treatments should also avoid this element as well.
Any arthritis cream that has the element know as capsaicin in it is becoming quite popular. This arthritis cream ingredient works in much the same way that menthol or eucalyptus does in that it generates heat to divert the pain. But this kind of arthritis cream also attacks the painful area and helps to battle the pain as well. This cream element is made from chili peppers and can get deep into the painful joints and help to relieve or reduce the pain for several hours at a time.