Runners take note: topical anti-inflammatories – finally!

I had no idea that genuine topical anti-inflammatories had been available in Europe for decades.  Decades!  While we’ve been making do with topical sports injury ointments that pretty much just seem to heat up your skin for a while and distract you from the deeper pain.  Runners earn many maladies the treatment of which (aside from the traditional Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) include anti-inflammatories. This usually involves dosing your whole body to get at one spot – an ankle, a calf, a glute, etc.

Now, according to a piece in the November’s Men’s Journal, there are three new topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Voltaren, a gel, Flector, a patch, and Pennsaid, a liquid.  Because these are topical, the article suggests, they are especially good for injuries near the surface (like Achille’s tendonitis!) but not as effective for really deep muscle injuries.

Either way, it’s exciting to see these come to market (if you’re an at all frequent consumer of oral NSAIDs – a market that obviously extends beyond runners and athletes to a very large group of arthritis sufferers).   You can get the medicine to the injury more quickly (and perhaps prevent an inflammation related injury from getting worse) as well as dodging some of the potential dangers of oral anti-inflammatories, including kidney problems and ulcers.

All of which is good news; looking forward to finding out more.  But seriously, two decades after Europe for these?

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