Whether it’s bad backs, strains, sprains, injuries, migraines, or arthritis, more than 15 million Brits are living with day-to-day pain, according to Government estimates.
A report from Public Health England found that over a third of adults (34% or 15.5 million) live with chronic pain. Women (38%) are more likely to be affected than men (30%).
This is backed by a 2022 IPSOS survey of over 4000 UK adults which revealed that almost half (49%) have recently experienced pain. And a quarter overall are living with day-to-day chronic pain, rising to 66% in people aged 55-75 years.
Pharmacist and advisor to Amgesic Pain Relief Gel, Noel Wicks says: “We can thank our modern lives for this explosion of pain since one of the biggest causes is musculoskeletal problems. Slouching at a desk, home working from the kitchen table, TV marathons and driving long distances all put pressure on our joints and muscles, leading to injuries.
“Add to that the negative impact of chronic health conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and long Covid, which are all associated with pain and discomfort.
“The IPSOS survey found that six in ten people (59%) claim to cope with chronic pain at least half the time, showing people are trying to push through to enable them to get on with their lives. This is despite the fact that a third of long-term sufferers – 40% of 55–75-year-olds – experience pain on a daily basis. Yet, this doesn’t have to be the case as many self-care options are now available to manage pain and inflammation”.
The IPSOS survey found that the most popular ways to deal with chronic pain were taking paracetamol (35%), anti-inflammatories (31%) or opioid-based medicines (24%) which can be addictive if used long-term.
Pharmacist, Noel Wicks, says: Taking oral pain killers is a popular choice but these shouldn’t be used for more than a few days due to potential side effects such as affecting the stomach. That’s why topical gels, such as Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel which contains the efficacious anti-inflammatory diclofenac sodium, can be a useful alternative. The active ingredient targets the painful, swollen joints and muscles rather than building up in the blood where it can reach other parts of the body.”
“Chronic pain, especially from musculoskeletal injuries and strains, has become a daily way of life for millions of adults, impacting on their ability to do their jobs, or enjoy their hobbies. Almost half (45%) of adults say that chronic pain impacts their working, domestic or social lives most of the time and, in some cases, even stops them getting out of the house.
“To break the pain cycle, we need to provide people with a range of self-care options for pain relief which can include topical anti-inflammatory products such as Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel. An analysis of research carried out by the influential Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that topical diclofenac was consistently one of the most effective treatments for dealing with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain”.
Try these four top tips for helping to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain:
- Rub it in: Massaging sore muscles stimulates blood flow which helps to activate the healing process. Even better, rub in an anti-inflammatory gel, such as Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel, which contains diclofenac sodium – an effective medicine which zones into the area needing pain relief.
- Mind over matter: Studies show that so-called biopsychosocial interventions – which combine behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and relaxation – can reduce our perception of pain, helping us to deal better with chronic conditions. Try the Yogic box breathing technique where you breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out and hold again all for 5 seconds per stage.
- Avoid aggravation: Certain activities, postures or situations can set off a bout of chronic pain so learn to avoid your own triggers by keeping a pain diary. It could be slouching on the sofa, having a poor driving or desk position, getting stressed and tense, or not having enough sleep.
- Sweet dreams: Poor sleep makes us less tolerant of pain so make sure you get good quality ZZZs by starting a sleep hygiene routine. Rid the bedroom of screens, wind down with a warm bath or book an hour before bed and try to get outdoors in the late afternoon and morning to reset your circadian rhythm – the internal clock for sleep.
Introducing Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel
The gel is formulated to relieve pain and inflammation, providing effective relief from muscle pain, strains, sports injuries, and bruises. It contains the active substance diclofenac sodium which belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Diclofenac sodium is a well-researched medicine with an excellent track record of safety and effectiveness.
An analysis of research carried out by the influential Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that topical diclofenac was consistently one of the most effective treatments for dealing with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Topical diclofenac also outperformed topical ibuprofen for these conditions, leading the authors to recommend topical diclofenac as a drug of choice for strains and sprains.
One randomised clinical trial in patients with osteoarthritis of the finger joints reported that topical diclofenac “is at least as effective” as taking oral ibuprofen. More importantly, topical diclofenac was ” superior to systemic ibuprofen therapy with respect to gastrointestinal safety”, meaning that the topical medicine was kinder to the stomach and gut.
Independent pre-clinical laboratory analysis of diclofenac sodium 1% gel has confirmed that “the safety of diclofenac for the intended clinical use is well-established” and there is sufficient clinical data and experience that renders further safety or toxicological testing unnecessary.
Using the product
Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel is specially formulated for rubbing into the skin and is used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and swelling in conditions affecting the joints and muscles. These can include muscle and joint injuries (e.g., sprains, strains, bruises, sports injuries) and tendonitis (e.g., tennis elbow).
With clean hands, apply 2 to 4 grams of the gel to the local site of the muscle or joint pain 3-4 times daily. The recommended amount of gel, depending on the area to be treated, is around the size of a 1p or 2p coin.
The product can be used by people over the age of 14 years who have none of the contraindications listed in the product leaflet.
- Topical diclofenac sodium is absorbed into the skin and targets areas of pain and inflammation, with only 6-7% reaching the systemic circulation compared with oral NSAIDs. This reduces the risk of side effects and drug interactions.
- Evidence from studies shows that topical diclofenac sodium accumulates in muscles, or synovial fluid in the case of inflamed joints, which means it can have a targeted, long-lasting effect on inflammation and pain.
- Compared with oral NSAIDs, topical diclofenac sodium can be used safely in a wider group of patients including children aged over 14 years, elderly people, and women in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, under medical supervision (Note: the product must be avoided in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy as per the patient leaflet).
- Amgesic Pain Relief 1% Gel is available to buy over the counter so helps to support self-care strategies.
As with any other medicine for pain relief, patients should seek the advice of a healthcare professional if their symptoms worsen or continue for more than seven days.