Best for: targeted pain relief with diclofenac

Voltarol pain-eze emulgel

The Voltarol range relieves pain, including back, neck, leg and shoulder pain, quickly and effectively, says manufacturer Novartis Consumer Health OTC. Unlike heat patches and cooling gels, Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel contains the NSAID diclofenac, which preferentially distributes to the inflamed target tissues to relieve pain at its source, says the company. The gel also reduces inflammation, which speeds up recovery. Since systemic absorption of topical diclofenac is very low, there are low levels of the active ingredient in the blood, leading to a reduced risk of systemic side effects compared with oral NSAIDs, adds Novartis.

Novartis Consumer Health OTC: 01276 687290



Best for: ibuprofen-based pain releif in gel format


A clinical study has proven that Ibuleve Gel can match the speed and efficacy of pain relief when compared to ibuprofen tablets, while minimising the likelihood of side effects associated with oral NSAIDs, such as stomach irritation, says manufacturer Dendron. Ibuleve, which contains ibuprofen, should be applied directly to the point of pain, where it is absorbed to provide fast, effective relief. Promising ‘pain relief without pills’, Ibuleve can ease pain caused by conditions such as backache, rheumatic pain, muscular pain, sprains and strains, and common arthritic conditions, adds the company.

Dendron: 01923 205704



Best for: medicated anti-inflammatory pain relief in a patch

Salonpas pain relief patch

Salonpas Pain Relief Patch is the only medicated, anti-inflammatory pain relief patch on the UK market, says Ceuta Healthcare. Using the latest technology, it releases two active ingredients – methyl salicylate 10% w/w and levomenthol 3% w/w – to provide relief for up to 12 hours, making it beneficial at night when tablets or gels will have worn off, says the company. Simple and quick to apply, the patch should be applied directly to the site of pain. Salonpas is suitable for the relief of muscle and joint pain associated with strains, sprains, backache and bruises, adds the company.

Ceuta Healthcare: 0844 2436 661


Best for: drug-free, warming pain relief in a patch

Deep heat pain relief patch

Deep Heat Pain Relief Patches deliver odourless, drug-free, warming pain relief directly to the site of pain or discomfort, says manufacturer Mentholatum. Available in sizes regular or large, Deep Heat Pain Relief Heat Patches apply heat therapy for back pain, muscular aches, pain, strains and stiffness. The heat generated by the patch gives up to 16 hours of targeted relief, while restoring movement and increasing blood flow, which brings oxygen and nutrients to aid healing, adds the company. The original size is suitable for smaller areas of the body, while the larger Back Patch sits comfortably across the spine, making it suitable for lower back pain.

Laser Healthcare: 01202 78055


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Market monitor: February

Product updates from Training Matters.