When the pain sets in, no matter in your body it is felt, your immediate reaction is to do whatever you can to alleviate that discomfort.  Perhaps you tend to reach for the aspirin as your go-to, but it doesn’t always do the trick, especially for the longer term.  What is a non-habit forming yet instantaneous treatment you should consider?  Pain relief patches.  They are not as widely known or used as their sister, the pain relief cream, but that doesn’t mean their ability to provide relief is not as powerful.  

What is a Pain Relief Patch?

If you have never used or seen one before, then you have likely not a clue as to how they function.  They are a flexible patch made from a fabric type material which adheres to the skin to provide medicated relief.  The drug from the patch is absorbed into your body over a period of time.  

There are many types of medications that can be used in a transdermal patch beyond pain relief such as birth control, hormones, nicotine, and drugs to treat angina and motion sickness.  Ideal for those who have difficulty ingesting medication orally, pain relief patches offer a powerful alternative specifically when it comes to pain management.  

Reasons to Use Pain Relief Patches

Immediate Relief

The most beneficial aspect of a pain relief patch is the immediate relief that is felt when using them.  Unlike oral medication which needs to flow through the bloodstream to locate the cause of your pain, a patch can provide the most immediate relief possible as it hits the skin allowing the active ingredients to get straight to the ache.  

The patch contains highly active ingredients such as menthol which works to stimulate the cold receptors in the body.  It is known to be highly effective in alleviating pain, but as such, it should still be used with caution despite being readily available without a prescription.   


One key difference between a pain relief patch and a topical pain relief cream is the fact that there is no mess involved.  A cream which may contain the same active ingredients needs to be applied to the skin, requiring your hands for application means that it will be touching other parts of your body which you may not want to be exposed to those ingredients.  

More caution must be taken as if it gets in more sensitive parts of your body such as the eyes, it can cause severe irritation and burning.  A pain patch is as mess-free as it gets, the portion where the mediated relief resides does not need to be in contact with any other part of you other than the exact area in which the pain currently resides.  The chances of any accidental misuse or contact with the wrong area is minimal.  Both options can provide the necessary relief needed, just in very different formats.  

Non-Habit Forming

Besides being easily accessible over the counter treatment, why many seek a pain relief patch over any other form of relief would be that it provides such a large dosage of relief but in a more manageable, non-habit-forming manner.  

Manufactured medications which require oral ingestion is exactly that, manufactured.  These are chemically created treatments that mimic what other natural ingredients do in nature, manipulate your brain’s receptors into thinking that there is no issue, therefore no need to signal that pain should occur.  It’s a very complicated and sophisticated reaction that occurs in your brain.  As such, the possibility of becoming addicted or craving this release of dopamines can be a problem for some.  

When finding a way to relieve your pain, the safest form will always be to find specific targeted care that is as close to natural as possible.  One aspect to be mindful of is that these are all forms of temporary pain relief.  Whether it be pills, patches, or creams, these treatments are intended for the quick and rapid relief of pain.  The goal is to allow you to go about your day or live a pain-free life for a short period. 

Targeted Relief

Many of the properties in a pain relief cream, ointment, or patch have highly potent ingredients that can provide relief but also be very intense when it comes to the sensation they provide to offset that pain.  For example, menthol which is a popular active ingredient can feel like a cooling yet burning sensation when applied to the skin.  In dealing with pain, it does a wonderful job of distracting your brain from realizing you are in pain however if and when touched on other non-injured areas it can be an awfully intense sensation. 

 A pain relief patch ensures that the medicated relief only touches the part of your body to which it is directly applied to.  You can ensure that the very specific spot is going to get that intense dosage of relief needed.  Offering a more concentrated form, a patch will trigger the senses to that targeted area providing the direct comfort you desire.  The one issue to contend with is that it is very targeted and relief is going to be only applicable to the size or region the patch covers.  

Because it is such a strong dosage in one region, it may not be recommended to wear multiples at a time as there may be too much of a burning sensation to the affected area.  If the area of pain is much larger or there are multiple parts of your body which require relief, you may want to consider choosing another form such as an ointment for relief    

Long-Term Relief

While you do want to alleviate the pain as quickly as possible, you also want whatever treatment you choose to last.  After all, what good would it do you to have to constantly tend to your ailment?  Any good remedy should have some lasting power otherwise they should not be one to be considered.  What makes a  pain relief patch an ideal treatment is the ability to last up to a staggering 8 hours.  By slowly giving your body the dosage of active ingredients it needs to overcome the pain, the patches keep that specific area of application steadily medicated to relieve pain.  You can still have the mobility and do everything a normal day entails without the worry of re-application or needing to take another pill.  The goal with any pain management treatment is to be pain-free for as long as possible, with the expectation of it going away completely. 

Final Thoughts

If you have known sensitivity to anything applied to your skin, it would be best to seek advice from a medical professional prior to use.  Many of the pain relief patches on the market contain a cooling agent such as menthol which can be an irritant to those with sensitive skin.  

Ensure that proper usage is followed, specifically doing as instructed on the box.  While your pain can feel intense, it may not always be recommended to put as many patches on it as you can to ease that discomfort.  The specific amount of active ingredients listed in these products follow certain guidelines for safety and effectiveness which is allowable for any over-the-counter, non-prescription pain relief treatments.  

The effectiveness is instantaneous as the moment it touches the skin, the sensation will be felt.  Keeping that in mind, ensure that you take the proper steps prior to application. Skin should be clean and free of any cuts or scrapes.  Otherwise, the pain you are seeking to mitigate can be amplified even further and you may run the risk of inflammation or infection.  Ensure that the patch is on comfortably and not too tight, it will not work better the more pressed into the skin it is.  

Following the proper steps and understanding why pain relief patches are an ideal treatment to manage discomfort caused by muscle and joint pain should give you confidence in knowing that relief can be easily found.  

Pain relief patches are one of many viable ways you can find that will help you ease through your pain in a holistic and approachable fashion.  As a treatment for temporary relief, it can most definitely be beneficial.  Pairing this with other forms of lifestyle changes can significantly increase your chances of living a pain-free existence.  

Dealing with these issues is hard enough as is but thankfully there are options like these that make navigating a treatment plan that is going to work properly for you and your lifestyle.