You will probably recognize the names of some of the topical products from flashy ads on television or in magazines. Brand recognition will probably guide you to the most popular topical pain relievers, but you should know what's in the product before you buy it. You will want to know what the product claims to do and if there have been any quality studies to back up the claims. For example, JointFlex is a well-marketed product. Its promotion line is, "Just rub it on and JointFlex will start relieving your pain in minutes." Let's take a closer look at JointFlex.
JointFlex Product Line
JointFlex currently markets two products: JointFlex Pain Relieving Cream and JointFlex Ice Roll-On. JointFlex Pain Relieving Cream is applied topically for the relief of minor arthritis pain, simple backache, muscle strains or sprains, bruises, or cramps. JointFlex Roll-On, as its name suggests, comes in a roll-on applicator, which many people will prefer over applying cream with their hands. The roll-on is marketed for the relief of muscle pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.
JointFlex Pain Relieving Cream contains camphor as its active ingredient for pain relief, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help with skin conditioning and faster delivery of the active ingredient. Glucosamine and chondroitin are common ingredients in many oral joint health supplements, but in topical JointFlex, it is used for skin conditioning.
JointFlex Ice Roll-On contains the following ingredients, with the intended purpose of decreasing pain and inflammation: Menthol 8.5% (produces a cold feeling on the skin), Arnica (reduces swelling and bruising), Boswellia (reduces inflammation, pain, swelling and increases mobility), Ilex (reduces pain, swelling, and stiffness), MSM (reduces inflammation and localized pain), and peppermint oil (produces a burning-cold sensation).
The makers of JointFlex recommend applying the product twice a day (morning and nighttime). Most people experience pain relief within 5-20 minutes, after the first application. The manufacturer emphasizes the importance of using the product as directed. If you aren't getting satisfactory relief or have questions, you should discuss JointFlex with your doctor.
According to the manufacturer, with JointFlex, there are generally no drug interactions of which you need to be wary. People who have a known allergy or sensitivity to camphor should not use JointFlex.
There was a 8-week study published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed arthritis journal, the Journal of Rheumatology, which supported the pain-relieving effects of ingredients in JointFlex Pain Relieving Cream. There were 63 study participants who had chronic knee osteoarthritis for an average of 10 years. The study results concluded that pain relief was significant at 4 weeks compared to placebo and continued to improve to 8 weeks. One-third of the study participants had pain nearly disappear.
The manufacturer also wants consumers to know that JointFlex offers a money-back guarantee. If not satisfied with your JointFlex experience, you can return the product container and sales receipt for a refund.
A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of a topical cream containing glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and camphor for osteoarthritis of the knee. Journal of Rheumatology. 2003 Mar;30(3):523-8.
JointFlex.com. Manufacturer's website. Accessed 7/20/2012.