There are low-cost balms like Amrutanjan, Zandu Balm, Tiger Balm etc which are also called as Counter-irritants.
There are also costly painkiller ointments and sprays with genuine pharmacological agents like Sodium Diclofenac, Volini, Ibuprofen etc which are also called Topical NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs).
How these balms/Ointments/Sprays work and what is the difference between them ??
- These are based on salicylate, capsaicin, nicotinate, menthol, eucalyptus oil, oil of wintergreen etc. They work better than placebo in a simple headache.
- The blood vessels of the skin dilate upon application of these chemicals, that gives a soothing warmth and Irritation of the sensory nerve endings which takes mind off the underlying pain.
- Counter-irritants give immediate soothing effect but do not last long and they do not help in curing the pain.
- These have diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc as active ingredients.
- Topical NSAIDs (like Spray/Ointment with a genuine pharmacological agent) for pain relief is a controversial topic.
- The pharma companies & their peoples claim that the NSAIDs get absorbed locally, penetrates the skin and then work in the way oral painkiller tablet NSAIDs work.
- They also block the production of pain causing chemical called Prostaglandin in your body.
- NSAIDs also gives an immediate soothing effect which lasts little longer than Counter-irritants and along with this NSAIDs also helps in curing the pain.