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We've teamed up with Mentholatum, specialists in pain relief heat and freeze products, to bring you this helpful guide on helping your patients manage osteoarthritis. Mentholatum specialises in family healthcare and is the UK's No.1 seller of topical pain relief products, helping people around the world manage muscular and joint pain for decades, bringing you household names such as Deep Heat, Deep Freeze and Regenovex. We hope you find their information useful and beneficial. This buyer's guide will give you some top tips on how to manage arthritis pain and also recommend topical solutions for arthritis pain relief such as arthritis pain relief gels and arthritis pain relief creams which can be used to help effectively manage your Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis pain.
Around one-third of people aged 45 and over in the UK have sought treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). That is a total of 8.75 million1, making osteoarthritis OA the most common musculoskeletal condition in older people.
Arthritis causes joints to become inflamed as cartilage deteriorates and the result is stiffness, pain and loss of mobility or dexterity. The more severe the case, the greater the impact Oesteoarhtritis will have on the sufferer’s work, home and leisure time. People suffering from Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis and therefore have to often deal with very severe pain that can impact and get in the way of everyday activities so finding effective pain relief solutions is paramount to managing Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Between 1990 and 2010, disability due to osteoarthritis in the UK increased by 16%² This upward trend is expected to continue, as osteoarthritis is more common in those over 50 and the obese and numbers within these groups are set to rise³. With the number of people suffering from Osteoarthritis constantly on the rise, it is important to make sure everyone suffering from arthritis pain is well informed on the options available to them. Awareness is key to picking up on early signs so the arthritis is identified and classified as either Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis by a physician which can help to accurately manage arthritis pain by preventing further damage to the cartilage with proper support. For arthritis pain relief please see our Arthritis supports range to see if any of our specifically designed supports and braces can help.
When movement is painful, people are understandably reluctant, even frightened to try to keep moving, but the latest advice from expert bodies such as NICE4 recommends them to do their best to strengthen the muscles involved and to make general fitness part of their lifestyle. Not only will this help manage contemporary arthritis pain but it is also important for reducing the severity of pain in the future.
Mentholatum understands what it feels like to suffer from osteoarthritis, they also know there is no magic pill to cure it. So they have developed a four-step, easy to follow self-management programme which we encourage you to recommend to your Osteoarthritis customers (if you are a physiotherapist, massage therapist or sports therapist) to help them get on with their life. Although effective arthritis pain relief treatment is required to manage severe pain from arthritis, there are other ways you can address arthritis pain besides using arthritis pain relief products
You WANT to help your customers manage their Arthritis pain and they WANT to feel more in control of their condition – these four simple steps can be taken at the customer’s own pace and in their own time.
Every pound of excess weight exerts about four pounds of extra pressure on the knees5, so the less extra weight we are carrying, the easier it is to move and less pressure on the joints can mean less pain.
Managing bodyweight will help improve the quality of life of Osteoarthritis sufferers, but it is not easy to lose weight, especially when mobility is affected and going for a run or a workout in the gym are simply not an option. People suffering from arthritis might struggle with exercise because of the delimiting nature of Arthritis pain and the effect it has on one's confidence as well. Find out more about the recommended type of exercise in the Activity section below.
As always, people who are looking into losing weight should be advised to check with their GP that it is safe for them to do so.
Most OA sufferers will understandably fear that their joints will become even more painful with exercise and movement.
As a health professional, you are in the ideal position to reassure them about what it is normal to experience in the first 10 minutes of exercising and help them understand that movement will become easier as circulation increases and the joints start to lubricate themselves. The advantages of staying active to manage your or your clients' arthritis pain, therefore, strongly outweigh the benefits of protecting the joints from further damage and not exercising.
Choose a weight-bearing activity such as walking - starting with short walks, slowly building up each week as muscles and joints get stronger. Investing in shock-absorbing footwear or comfy insoles such as Vasyli and a set of walking poles will help you or your clients to manage Osteoarthritis effectively.
When Osteoarthritis affects the hands, fingers can be encouraged to move with simple exercises using a stress ball or other small, softball.
The food we eat can affect our joints, some foods worsen inflammation which only makes the Arthritis pain more severe and others help to calm it. It is important to exercise some control over the condition and do a little research into nutrition to identify the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods for Osteoarthritis sufferers. And tell them to listen to their bodies – we all know what happens when we have eaten something we really enjoy, but which might not agree with us!
The Mediterranean diet is often praised for helping maintain a healthy weight – it varies from country to country, but in general, it is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, unsaturated fats such as olive oil and it usually has a low intake of meat and dairy foods. Following a nutritious, balanced diet can help to treat Oesteoarhtrits by making sure the joints are receiving the right nutrition and maintaining good blood circulation which will also help minimise Arthritis related pain.
Some Food supplements - containing Hyaluronic Acid (HA), fish oils or long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as ETA, DHA, and EPA might also be helpful, but food supplements should never be used as a substitute for a varied, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. If you wish to effectively treat your Osteoarthritis or manage any arthritis pain then following all 4 steps is essential.
The use of topical hot or cold therapy can be considered. Heating products, used before exercise, can help ease tight, stiff joints, while cooling products, used after exercise, can help calm heat and soothe the joints. This means topical solutions can be very handy for Oesteoarhtrits and Rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Topical Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory products such as anti-inflammatory cooling gels can help cool and soothe joints and reduce arthritis pain and inflammation.
Many people find the number of topical pain relief products available a little daunting, so they will appreciate help in selecting the suitable products to care for their joints efficiently. Mentholatum is the UK’s number one seller6 of topical hot and cold pain relief products7 including the iconic Deep Heat, Deep Freeze and Deep Relief, its topical NSAID brand. The mix of formats across the ranges and the fact that some of the products are drug-free means that you should be able to find something suitable for your arthritis pain.
Heat helps to soothe muscle aches and arthritis pain. Our Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion8 helps soften tight muscles to restore movement. Deep Heat Pain Relief Heat Patch provides long-lasting, odourless pain relief. The increased blood flow helps aid the healing process. It can also be used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. This arthritis pain relief treatment should be used with caution when there is inflammation as heat therapy can irritate inflamed areas
Cold therapy works fast. Our Deep Freeze range of products provide fast pain relief for joint pain which is essential for managing Arthritis conditions. The cooling effect of the Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Gel, Patch and Glide-on Gel has been scientifically proven to penetrate soft tissue to a depth of 3cm.
Topical anti-inflammatories provide targeted, penetrating pain relief for inflammatory joint and muscle pain. This makes them effective for severe arthritis pain. Deep Relief Anti-Inflammatory Gel is recommended for relief from back pain, rheumatic pain, muscular aches, pains and swellings such as strains and sprains. Deep Relief Joint Pain Gel is also suitable for the relief from the pain associated with non-serious arthritic conditions.
1 Osteoarthritis in general practice July 2013 Arthritis Research UK PDF 421 MB.pdf. 2 Murray C et al. (2013). UK health performance: findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, Lancet 381 (9871), 970-972. 3 Government Office for Science (October 2007). FORESIGHT Tackling obesities: Future choices – project report, 2nd Edition 4 Oesteoarthritis; care and management 5 Arthritis Foundation 6 IRI sales data in units, 52 weeks ending 29th December 2018. 7 Deep Heat Pain Relief Heat Patches, Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch and Deep Freeze Pain Relief Glide-on Gel are medical devices. Deep Relief Anti-Inflammatory Gel/Deep Relief Joint Pain Gel Product Information Presentation: Gel containing ibuprofen 5.0%w/w, levomenthol 3.0%w/w. Uses: Relief of rheumatic pain, muscular aches, pains and swellings such as strains, sprains and sports injuries. [Also for the relief of the pain associated with non-serious arthritic conditions – Deep Relief Joint Pain Gel 100g Pharmacy only]. Contraindications: Those patients known to be hypersensitive to ibuprofen, levomenthol, or any of the ingredients or sensitive to aspirin, or other NSAIDS including when taken by mouth, or asthmatic patients in whom aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are known to precipitate asthmatic attacks, rhinitis or urticaria. Use on broken skin or denuded skin. Simultaneous use on the same site with any other topical medicine. Use in the presence of local infection. Use in the last trimester of pregnancy. Method of use: Adults and children over 12 years - apply gel with gentle massage to the affected area, up to a maximum of three times a day. Not to be repeated more frequently than every four hours. Precautions: For external use only. Always try on a small area first. The gel should not be used on or near mucous membranes, nor near the eyes. Avoid contact with inflamed or broken skin. Discontinue use if rash or irritation develops. Not for use with occlusive dressings. As it is known that oral Ibuprofen may worsen an existing renal impairment, or aggravate an active peptic ulcer, patients with a history of renal problems or with an active peptic ulcer should seek medical advice before using topical Ibuprofen products. Wash hands after use unless they are being treated. If anyone swallows the gel he or she should contact his or her doctor or nearest casualty department. By extrapolation from other routes of administration: although this is less likely with NSAIDs intended for topical use compared to oral drugs, the use of these products, as with any drug known to inhibit cyclo-oxygenase/prostaglandin synthesis, may impair fertility. In women who have difficulty conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility, withdrawal of these products should be considered. Consult doctor if patient experiences any unwanted effects, if there is no improvement, or the condition is aggravated. Concurrent use of aspirin or other NSAIDS may result in an increased incidence of adverse reactions. Pregnancy and lactation: Topical ibuprofen is not recommended during the first six months of pregnancy and is contraindicated in the last trimester of pregnancy. Lactation – not recommended. Side effects: Skin disorders are most frequently reported: Application site reactions such as, rashes, pruritus and urticaria, drying, reddening, burning sensation, contact dermatitis. Application site burns have been reported for menthol-containing products. Frequency unknown. Although extremely uncommon when administered topically side effects such as abdominal pain, dyspepsia and renal impairment are possible. Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported following treatment with ibuprofen. These may consist of (a) non-specific allergic reactions and anaphylaxis (b) respiratory tract reactivity comprising of asthma, aggravated asthma, dyspnoea and bronchospasm which may be precipitated in patients suffering from or with a previous history of bronchial asthma or allergic disease (c) assorted skin disorders, including rashes of various types, pruritus, urticaria, purpura, angioedema and, less commonly, bullous dermatoses (including epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme). Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.yellowcard.gov.uk . Legal category: Deep Relief Anti-Inflammatory Gel in 15, 30, 50 and 100g GSL; and Deep Relief Joint Pain Gel in 100g P. RRP (ex-VAT): 30g GSL £3.99, 50g GSL £4.99, 100g GSL £9.17, 100g P £9.17. Marketing Authorisation Holder: The Mentholatum Company Limited, 1 Redwood Avenue, Peel Park Campus, East Kilbride, G74 5PE. MA number: PL 00189/0027 Deep Relief Anti-Inflammatory Gel / PL 00189/0036 Deep Relief Joint Pain Gel. Date of preparation: November 2018. 8 Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion is a non-medicinal product to help ease tight muscles.