Arthritis Joint Pain Medication: Which Option Is Right for You?

Senior woman sitting on her couch holding her painful knee

Are you suffering from arthritis joint paint? For many individuals, medication can help alleviate the pain. Learn about the different types of over-the-counter arthritis joint pain medication.

Arthritis Joint Pain Medication

Experiencing joint pain can make everyday tasks challenging. From texting to washing the dishes to picking up items off the shelf at the grocery store, we use our joints all day long. The wear-and-tear joints undergo over the years can lead to arthritis. When you’re dealing with joint pain—whether it be moderate or severe—medication can help bring relief. Check out the information below to learn more about the different types of over-the-counter joint pain medication for arthritis, and find the best option to help you manage your pain.

Osteorthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain. There are many different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis (OA) being the most common amongst the general population.i Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that happens when the cartilage between bones wears away and the bones begin to rub against each other.ii This rubbing causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.iii If you’re suffering from joint pain and feel osteoarthritis might be the cause, make an appointment with your doctor to determine a diagnosis. There are several OTC options you can pursue to relieve your arthritis joint pain.

Over-the-Counter Topical vs. Oral Arthritis Joint Pain Medicine

Arthritis joint pain medication includes both topical medicine and oral medicine. Topical medications like gels and creams are applied to the site of the pain.iv Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel penetrates through the skin where it accumulates and then releases into the underlying tissues. It works by blocking the production of pain signaling chemicals. Oral medicine, on the other hand, is medication you swallow. Once swallowed, oral medications are typically absorbed through your stomach and distributed in the bloodstream to the site of pain.v Oral medicine can include pills (tablets and caplets) or liquids. Tablets from Advil are an example of oral pain relief.

Acetaminophen vs. NSAIDs

APAP is an analgesic, a type of drug which help relieve mild-to-moderate pain, as well as fever symptoms.vi However, while some analgesics help relieve joint pain due to OA, they do not help treat the inflammation associated with OA. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications—also known as NSAIDs—are an option for joint pain treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve both the pain and inflammation associated with OA. However, keep in mind that NSAIDs can have negative side effects such as stomach bleeding if the medication is not taken properly.vii You should also avoid NSAIDs if you have any sort of intolerance or sensitivity to other pain relievers or fever reducers.

Voltaren vs. Other Topical Brands

Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel can help treat and relieve joint pain. Voltaren is the first OTC full prescription strength gel for arthritis pain. With non-greasy formula and no menthol scent, Voltaren is applied on the skin for targeted pain relief. Unlike topicals like Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, Voltaren contains a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to help reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. It is made with specialized Voltaren Emulgel technology and it is absorbed through the skin as a topical NSAID. Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel is FDA-approved to be used daily for up to 21 days in a row before consulting a doctor, while products like Salonpas Pain Relief Patch are only approved for 3 consecutive days of use.

If you are sensitive or intolerant of NSAIDs, Voltaren might not be the right choice for you. Learn more about pain and managing your arthritis symptoms today.


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