Helps most if you believe in it

Tablets are much more effective against pain.

Helps most if you believe in it

According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Pharmaceutical Industry, Norwegians have more pain in the body than all other Europeans.

30 percent of adults Norwegians have chronic pain. In other European countries, the pain rate is between 16 and 19 percent.

Translated most of all drugs

Norwegians have in recent years had a stable high consumption of prescription-free pain medications. Aside from nasal spray and nicotine drugs, there are no drugs that are traded for more than painkillers with paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Drug statistics show that Paracet (paracetamol) and Ibux (ibuprofen) are what most of us buy when we are in pain. But if you have had enough pills, pain relief cream can be an option. You just have to believe it helps.


Helps most if you believe in it

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In the last few years we have also been able to lubricate with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Both Ibumetin Gel, Voltarol Gel and Ibux Gel work pain and anti-inflammatory and are sold without prescription.

In addition, we can choose from an increasing range of drug and pharmacy cures.

The question is only if they help. Is it really possible to lubricate pain in the muscles, tendons and joints?

weaker than pills

Helps most if you believe in it

LIGHT EXTERNAL: F. v. Chief physician Morten Finckenhagen in the Norwegian Medicines Agency. Hilde Berner Hammer, Assistant Department Surgeon at Rheumatology Department, Diakonhjemmet Hospital. Kari Furu, leader of the adverse reaction committee. Photo: Private and Bjørn Inge Karlsen, HM Foto

Chief physician Morten Finckenhagen in the Norwegian Medicines Agency (SLV) says this:

Helps most if you believe in it

Do you know the difference between Ibux, Paracet and Voltarol?

NSAIDs in yellow form may give some local pain relief but are not as effective as tablets. The concentration of active substances in the bloodstream becomes lower when absorbed via skin than when absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The concentration of active substances is actually 100 times stronger when taken orally, such as tablets, compared to locally via cream, says Finckenhagen to Better Health.

If you are taking painkillers while you are drinking, it is also important to note that alcohol affects the effects of the medicine.

Individual Differences

Finckenhagen knows it’s easy to think that anti-inflammatory creams go through the skin, straight into the “wounded” and fixes.

Helps most if you believe in it

RESPONSIBLE: Drugs to lubricate the skin: Ibumetin Gel, Ibux gel, Voltarol gel and Algesal ointment. Photo: producer

– Such an effect is modest and insecure, and we do not quite know how far down the tissue the drug goes, “he says, referring to individual differences such as skin thickness, subcutaneous fat and skin temperature.

Non-Prescription Drugs on the Skin

Ibumetin Gel

  • Feature: Pain and Inflammation
  • Active substance: Ibuprofen
  • Indicative price: £ 129 (75g)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

Ibux gel

  • Feature: Pain and Inflammation
  • Active substance: Ibuprofen
  • Indicative price: £ 135 (50 g)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

Voltarol gel

  • Feature: Pain and Inflammation
  • Active substance: Diclofenac diethylamine
  • Indicative price $ 19.95 (50 g)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

Algae Salve

  • Property: Heaty
  • Active substance: Diethylamine salicylate
  • Indicative price £ 69 (40g)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

* Prices are indicative and only the main active substances are mentioned.


– In addition, active substances that are lubricated on the skin will nevertheless be taken up in the bloodstream before passing through the blood to the affected area of ​​injury. As mentioned, the concentration of active substances will be low. However, psychologically, you can still feel that it helps to spread something. Believing that it works gives extra effect, “says Chief Finckenhagen about what is called the placebo effect in the language of the profession.

Effective Effect

Studies of the phenomenon show that any kind of treatment, including narremedisin, has a certain effect.

– Regardless of method and means, placebo can make up to 20-30 percent of the effect the patient experiences. Placebo is enhanced by believing in the product and trust in the person who recommends it, Finckenhagen states.

He adds that drugs approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency have shown an effect that is better than the placebo effect in so-called double blind attempts.

The same applies to the gel products containing NSAIDs.

Less risk of peptic ulcer

Whatever your real effect or not, you need NSAIDs, there’s at least one good reason for choosing jelly instead of tablets.

– NSAIDs like tablets can irritate and damage the gastrointestinal tract, which increases the risk of ulcers. This side effect does not have to worry about when the NSAIDS are lubricated on skin, Finckenhagen points out.


If you choose other pain coughs with a warming or cooling effect, you can also forget about the fear of gastric side effects.

The common denominator for them is that they are plant-based compound compounds with aromatic compounds such as menthol, camphor, pineol oil, etc..

Helps most if you believe in it

KREMER: From pharmacy, health food and bandagist shops: Zoote Gel, Zożcold Gel, Tiger Balsam Soft, Eis-Gel, BioArtrox Cream (Organic), Perozin, Linnex Heatstick, Delisan Muscle Rub, Nuflex Heat Gel, Nuflex cooling gel, Life Liniment 100 ml and Ormsalva Plus. Photo: Producer

Skin Receptors

Creams from pharmacies, health food and bandagist shops

So’hot gel

  • Property: Heaty
  • Active substances: Mentol, camphor and arnica
  • Recommended price £ 140 (100ml)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

Such gel

  • Property: Cool
  • Active substances: Mentol and camphor
  • Recommended price £ 140 (100ml)
  • Pharmaceutical Product

Tiger Balsam Soft

  • Properties: Heaty
  • Active substances: Cajuput oil, menthol and camphor
  • Indicative price $ 94 (25ml)
  • Pharmacy and Health Food Product


  • Property: Cool
  • Active substance: Mentol
  • Recommended price £ 79 (100ml)
  • Pharmacy / bandagist, health food

BioArtrox Cream (Organic)

  • Property: Heaty
  • Active substances: Spirea, arnica and grapefruit stone
  • Indicative price £ 159 (100 ml).
  • www. transformation. com


  • Feature: Cooling, then warming
  • Active substances: Mentol, peppermint and arnica
  • Indicative price: 159 (100 ml)
  • Health food and www. tokay. com

Linnex Heatstick

  • Property: Heaty
  • Active substances: Camphor, menthol, salicylate and capsaicin. NB! Not recommended in conjunction with sauna, solarium, hot shower or sunbathing due to capsaicin.
  • Indicative price £ 32 (50 g)
  • Health food (and some sports stores)

Delisan Muscle Rub

  • Feature: Cooling, then warming
  • Active substances: Methyl salicylate, menthol and eucalyptus
  • Indicative price: 129 (100 ml)
  • Healthy

Nuflex Heat Gel

  • Property: Heaty, then cool
  • Active Ingredients: Pineapple Oil, Rosemary Oil, Orange Oil, Bergamot Oil, Sweet Marijuana, Lavender Oil
  • Indicative price: £ 159 (100ml)
  • Healthy

Nuflex cooling gel

  • Attributes: Cool
  • Active ingredients: Peppermint oil and lemon oil
  • Indicative price: £ 159 (100ml)
  • Healthy

Life Liniment 100ml

  • Property: Heaty
  • Active substances: Mentol, eucalyptus, cajuput oil, methyl salicylate, camphor, capsicum
  • Indicative price $ 99
  • Healthy

Ormsalva Plus

  • Features: Stimulating
  • Active substances: Arnica Montana and graphite
  • Recommended price £ 22 (150ml)
  • Healthy

* Prices are indicative and only the main active substances are mentioned.

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– The effect is explained by the effect of heat or cold receptors in the skin, which can trigger reflexes that increase blood flow in the skin. Some contain water and liquids like alcohol that evaporates easily and contributes to physical cooling of the skin, but we are not talking about any depth effect, “says Finckenhagen.

Whether heat or cold works best against pain is impossible to say, he believes.

In case of acute injury it is important and correct to cool down to limit swelling and bleeding.

In the case of chronic pain, however, there is no idea what works best.

Indirect pain relief

Hilde Berner Hammer, Assistant Department Surgeon at the Rheumatological Department, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, agrees:

– In case of chronic pain, you do not always know whether it is inflammation or not, says Berner Hammer to Better Health.

Heat can be as good as cold because both give indirect pain relief.

– When the thick nerve fibers in the skin are stimulated by heat or cold, this will lead to painful pain in the spinal cord, which causes the pain signals to be hammered to the brain, she explains.

The gate control mechanism

This indirect pain relief is called the Gate Control Mechanism and was discovered by researchers in the 1950s.

Also, other stimulation that affects the nerve fibers of the skin, such as massage, blowing or dressing may work in the same way.

– Here too, the psychological effect is strongly influenced by the image. When our attention around the pain is disturbed and we do something else, this will generally work as a pain relief, according to Hammer.

Chili on the skin

A third pain mechanism is also worth noting if you use creams or medicines with active substances of the type Capsaicin, which are found in natural form in chili pepper.

A cream or paints with capsaicin on the skin will give an intense burning pain.

– This is due to the fact that capsaicin affects receptors on the pain tissues, called so-called fibers, so that their nerve ends release substance P. When the nerve endings have been emptied, the pain will slow or disappear, Hammer explains about this painful pain-displacing mechanism.

May cause side effects

Kari Furu, chairman of the Adverse Committee, an advisory body for the Danish Medicines Agency, reminds that both medicines and nature (play) agents for local use on the skin must be used with caution.

– Do not use on damaged or infected skin, not on children without contact with a doctor, and it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after application, she says to Better Health.

The NSAIDS gels should not be used for more than one week at a time.

You should also avoid direct sunlight and solarium during treatment and up to two weeks afterwards. This is to avoid photosensitivity reactions in the skin.

Little documentation

In the case of non-drugs, there is little evidence of both effects and side effects.

– Frequently, the amount of active substances is not stated. As a consumer, one must therefore carefully check if they contain substances that are allergic to, emphasizes Furu, who is also senior researcher at the National Institute of Public Health, Department of Medicine Epidemiology.

Pain Relief

In boxes next to this text you will find a range of medicines and creams that can be used instead of pills. Most can be purchased online. In addition, prescription drugs are available for local skin pain: Orudis gel (previously prescription-free) Capsina cream and Qutenza.

Note! Better Health has not completed testing or made any ranking of the products.

If you experience side effects of health food products, these should be notified to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, while drug side effects should be reported to the Danish Medicines Agency, possibly via a doctor or pharmacist..


Information about the drugs has been obtained from the head of department Kjersti Wilhelmsen Garstad and Pharmaceutical Adviser Jeanette Söderbom at Boots Pharmacies and pharmacy journalist and pharmacist Gunhild Kile Sandvik in pharmacy1. com

Information about the products is obtained from importers / distributors, health food stores and health food provider.

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