Lumbar pain can be experienced by anyone, regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle.
The reasons for the appearance of these pains can be many and varied – from heavy training, improper posture, uncomfortable mattress, lack of movement, sudden lifting of heavy objects, strenuous exercise, and more.
Here we will not talk about the causes that led to the appearance of pain, but we will talk about the recently popular means of relieving this pain – patches.
We will look at the main types of low back pain patches to see if they help and if so, how well they work.
What are patches?
Simply put, these are a type of adhesive bandage that, like our familiar adhesive tape, sticks directly to the skin. Unlike the adhesive bandages we wear when we are injured, these patches contain synthetic or natural remedies that help relieve pain.
There is an extremely wide variety of patches on the market that help with various health problems. Some of the patches are recommended for headaches, others deal with the pain of PMS, and others with high blood pressure, for example.
There are patches that help to quit smoking, reduce nausea when traveling, act as contraceptives, and more, and more, and more.
Their variety is really extensive, but now we will talk mainly about the patches that help relieve low back pain.
That is why we need to first understand…
How do low back pain patches work?
Once applied to the area where the patient is feeling pain, the patches gradually begin to release the active ingredients they contain.
The active drugs penetrate directly through the skin. Thus, medications do not need to travel a long way through the gastrointestinal tract and circulatory system to bring relief.
The patches can be used in combination with other medicines or in combination with other treatments, as they do not interact with other medicines and there is no risk of side effects.
Which patch is best for lumbar pain?
Although low back pain patches can be purchased without a prescription, it is advisable to consult a doctor before buying, as based on the symptoms, general health, and the possibility of allergic reactions, the specialist can help to correctly select the patches from which the patient will get the greatest benefit.
Types of patches for low back pain
There are mainly two types of patches on the market: anti-inflammatory and warming:
Anti-inflammatory patches contain one or more painkillers capable of acting against inflammatory conditions (due to these properties, this type of patch is both anti-inflammatory and a painkiller).
The use of this type of patch is most often recommended for inflammation of the back muscles, traumatic pain, tendon pain, and more.
Among the most commonly used analgesic and anti-inflammatory patches are those whose active ingredients contain hydroxyethylpyrrolidine, flurbiprofen or diclofenac sodium – all three are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Characteristics of anti-inflammatory patches for back pain
- They are effective against pain caused by muscle or joint inflammation, rheumatic diseases, tendon ligament problems, and other conditions.
- are practical and convenient to apply;
- have no contraindications and side effects;
- can be purchased without a prescription;
- have a maximum effectiveess of 12 hours;
- cannot be reused;
- should not be applied to areas with skin lesions.
There is a wide variety of anti-inflammatory patches on the market and everyone can find the right one for them, but still we will list some of the most popular patches preferred by doctors and patients.
The active ingredients contained in these patches are hydroxyethylpyrrolidine and diclofenac. Dicloreum acts directly on the pain and its active ingredients are released gradually.
The patch is effective for up to 12 hours, and while relieving the pain, the ingredients in the patch ensure that the area affected by the pain will not become further inflamed.
Voltaren patches are probably the most recommended patches that can be purchased from any pharmacy. These patches have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-edematous effects. The main active substance in the patch is diclofenac, and its action lasts for 12 hours.
Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has been used for a long time to relieve pain and lower fever.
In 2015, scientists from the United Kingdom managed to create the first Ibuprofen patches, which proved to be one of the most effective means of relieving low back pain. The patches contain 30% ibuprofren, are made by a new technology, and their effects last up to 12 hours.
Warming patches contain a combination of natural ingredients that have the ability to generate heat. This type of patch is recommended for patients in whom the pain is due to excessive muscle tension.
The heat that these patches produce has a soothing and relaxing effect on tense muscles. In light of this, we can say that the action of warming patches for low back pain is based on the principles of so-called thermotherapy.
Characteristics of thermal patches
- They act to reduce muscle tension;
- reach a maximum temperature of 40 degrees;
- take effect 30 minutes after application;
- their effect lasts up to 8 hours;
- are practical and easy to use;
- have no side effects.
Popular warming patches for low back pain
Thermacare are among the most popular brands of warming patches, which are recommended for the treatment of various diseases, including low back pain.
Thermacare patches contain ingredients that generate natural heat to relax muscles, relieve pain, and increase blood circulation.
This type of warming patches is the latest generation of patches that not only relieve symptoms, but are also quite effective in treating the causes of pain. The mechanism of action of Proenzi Thermotherapy is very simple – after applying the patch, it begins to release heat, which quickly relieves pain. The patches are effective for 8 hours, and the results are more than just good.
How are low back pain patches used?
- For maximum results, patches should be worn for between 8 and 12 hours, depending on the patch type (manufacturers usually specify 12 hours for anti-inflammatory patches and 8 hours for warming patches).
- One patch can be used only once. Once placed and used up, it is removed and not used again;
- Anti-inflammatory patches should not be used by adults for more than two weeks and one week by persons under 16 years of age;
- The use of warming patches should not exceed a week;
- The patches should not be applied to areas where there are skin has injuries or wounds.
How are low back pain patches applied?
- Before applying the patch, the affected area is washed and dried well.
- The patch is applied to the area where the pain is most severe and left to work.
What is the actual effect of the use of patches?
Both neurologists and physiotherapists believe that the patches bring pain relief but do not have the power to get rid of the pain forever.
It is a mistake to think that low back pain patches can cure the disease itself. The patches are only an element of the overall treatment and therapy and “YES”, they help, but only if the causes of these pains are found and the patches are used correctly and in combination with the treatment prescribed by specialists.
If the low back pain has been caused by some kind of exercise or is something temporary, the patches can bring relief, but if it comes back, then you have to resort to other treatments to overcome the cause of the pain.
This can only happen if an appropriate schedule of physiotherapy and rehabilitation is developed and applied, which includes various exercises and other techniques for dealing with low back and back pain.