Over the years now, I find that I have needed a stronger pain relief from my lower back pain. In this post I will share with you my journey through time and what I now find to be the best lower back pain relief for me, at this point in time.
Back in the 90’s, when I first injured my back, I was thankfully put through therapy after a few weeks of actual non-activity. That therapy helped me get back to work sooner… but… it turned out that I returned to work too soon AND, I over exerted myself with the demands my job at that time made on my lower back. Thus, I ended up off work for several months while trying to recover from re-injurying my back.
Many prescription meds later, and with intensive therapy the second time around… and I was back to work once more. Being an A type personality, this injury has done a LOT to frustrate me over the years, and I have done my best to NOT let it limit me too much.
Yet… over time, somehow the pain continues to intensify to the point of my needing a stronger method of pain relief. I was thankful to finally get off the dangerous prescription meds I was given, as long-term usage is NEVER advisable with ANY prescription… plus, I am NOT a fan of taking pills for any reason.
Well over ten years ago now, on my first attempt to treat myself for the pain I was experiencing, I went into Shoppers Drug Mart for the topical cream that I had learned about from a TV commercial. However, the pharmacist explained to me that the cream I came in for was way to severe a method for the level of pain I was experiencing, and that perhaps the Traumeel ointment might work for me… and it did, for several years!
Over the years, it seemed to always be around October to December that the pain became so intensive that I started using Traumeel and, I actually received relief when using this cream.
Mind you, I was doing a set of 3 different exercises that a back specialist doctor had me doing from back when I suffered the reoccurrence of my lower back injury. These were sciatic nerve pain relief exercises.
I also purchased a True Back devise (or gizmo, is what I like to call it), and since then, I would not want to ever be without it, as I STILL use it today.
In about 2006, I purchased my inversion table from ShowCase for all of $99, and it too has been a perfect purchase, and a device that has served me well by helping to relieve my lower back pain.
Progression Inversion Table Instructions
NOTE: I don’t go beyond a 45 degree rotation as I have never needed to.
Back sometime in early 2007, a friend first told me about Aleve, though it wasn’t until a few months later when I bought my first tiny bottle of Aleve from WalMart. As I said, I’m not a fan of taking pills. That tiny bottle lasted me a long time well into 2016, when I purchased a BIG bottle of Aleve from Costco.
Sometime in 2015, while picking up a prescription at Scotts Drug Mart in Oshawa, I saw they had That Stuff For Pain (a natural pain relief solution) offered for sale beside the pharmacy’s cash register… so, I tried a small bottle of it. It worked GREAT and so I then purchased a BIG bottle (250 ml) of it… and, I still use it for mild pain relief.
Then, in July 2017, I made a promise to Dr. Stoddard (my stem cell injection doctor) to NEVER EVER take Aleve again because of what has been discovered it does to our joints. (You can click the link on the promise I made to Dr. Stoddard to see that study!)
So, now that big bottle of Aleve sits in my medicine cabinet waiting for whomever wants it, providing they understand what using it regularly can do to their joints… and heck, I was taking one Aleve every 3rd day and fretting that I was taking far too many pain killers.
Thankfully, the stem cell injections I had has relieved my hip joint pain… but obviously, not my lower back pain… which is to blame as the culprit for causing the damage to my hip joint in the first place.
My lower back pain is most severe on the left side which is causing my Psoas major and Iliacus muscles to pull on my left leg bone (full details here).
Since I was informed by Dr. Stoddard to use Tylenol Extra Strength rather than Aleve, I was doing just that.
However, it has still been impossible for me to resume the amount of walking that I used to be able to do daily, with my dogs due to my lower back pain. And, I have had to increase my usage of Tylenol Extra Strength to EVERY time I leave my home to do any excessive walking… including shopping.
Knowing full well that this usage is also dangerous, I have been on the lookout for a new pain reliever. That’s when I found myself noticing those same TV commercials again. You know, the one I saw back years ago when I went into Shoppers Drug Mart for this topical pain relieving cream.
Now I have decided it is time for me to try this stuff. And that magical pain reliever is non-other than Voltaren… yes! I said, Voltaren.
And before you get ready to blast me to wherever and back, listen to what I have discovered… then make your comments.
Back to WalMart I went, where I purchased my first tube of Voltaren Emulgel Back & Muscle Pain for slightly less than $14. Once back home, I rubbed my left side, lower back and my left butt with this gel/cream and within minutes I felt pain relief… though I noted that the relief seemed to only last about four hours.
Next time I used it was two days later, after a shower. This time I decided to slather the stuff on my lower back, my left butt cheek, and the front area of my hip where the Psoas major and Iliacus muscles come forward from my lower back and attached to my left leg bone. I even rub the stuff a bit down the front of my left thigh. This time, the pain relief lasted soooooo long that I wanted to shout “Yaaahoooo!” from the roof tops.
Finally, noooo more pain and NO need for Tylenol Extra Strength.
Well, if a friend that I bragged to about the relief I am experiencing with this stuff, didn’t go and tell his friend (at a nursing home that he volunteers at), and she sent him back to me with an alert warning that she had heard that Voltaren was dangerous, and that it could cause problems for my liver.
This was somewhat similar to the warning the pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart talked about back when I ended up purchasing the Traumeel cream instead.
Sooo… off I went to Google search, and after several different searches (in trying to be thorough) what I discovered is that Voltaren Gel contains NSAIDs and that when taken orally, NSAIDs can cause alllllll sorts of bad side effects.
WAIT a minute!
I’m NOT taking Voltaren orally folks. It’s a topical application. Daaaah!
This puts me in mind of back years ago when one of my doctors prescribed a sulphur anti-biotic (yup… back in THOSE days!) and I broke out in millions of tiny, itchy bumps allllll over my back. Well, it turned out that I’m allergic to taking sulphur meds orally, and those tiny, itchy bumps were hives.
The pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart (back THEN) panicked because I had been using a topical application for a rosacea treatment, and he suggested that I should stop that too.
HUH? The topical usage of the mixture for my rosacea treatment did NOT affect me like the oral usage of the anti-biotic did.
So NO, I insisted I not be cut off… and, my skin specialist agreed.
Topical and oral usages are totally different thus the differences in reactions.
Not ONE of those “medical” websites could state any study where Voltaren used properly (topically NOT orally) actually caused any one of the side effects they claimed that NSAIDs caused when used orally… NOT ONE. Their claims are like comparing automobiles to sleighs!
Now… here is a study that clearly stated that “…long-term DSG treatment is safe in patient subpopulations…” and, here that study is for you to read for yourself: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508560/
To me, it only stands to good ole common sense… taking ANY med orally long-term it is waaaay more dangerous than a topical application used every two days.
So… as I said… Voltaren is my NEW best lower back pain relief by choice.
This muscle pain relief cream allows me to do my lower back pain relief exercises and do my shopping pain free. Even my masseur has noticed an improvement in the knots my muscles normally have when he does my regular massages.
I do hope my sharing my research for just the right pain reliever at just the right time for the right amount of pain, helps you decide what to use.
If you found this information helpful, I do hope you will share it with your friends as this helps me know what type of information to share with you here on my personal blog.
UPDATE: Since writing this post, I decided to purchase another tube of Voltaren, so to keep a spare on hand.
When at Costco, I was introduced to the availability of the Extra Strength product… which I purchased. However, once home and upon opening up the box, I found a cardboard card along with the leaflet instructions.
On the cardboard card titled “Dosing Card” is a blue bar or band that is clearly marked with “1 application is 2g, of product”. Below the blue bar or band it shows 0g at the start of the blue bar and 2g (4cm) at the end of the blue bar. Below that again, it is clearly stated with the following: “Do not use more than 4g per day”.
When I read over the enclosed leaflet, it explains that the medicinal values are double that of the regular Voltaren.
YIKES! Okay… so this I will only ever use when I ABSOLUTELY have to.
Now… this stuff makes me wonder if this is what all the exaggerated warnings are actually about that have been published on the internet about Voltaren.
Well, it is safe to say that the Muscle & Back Pain Voltaren is now back on my grocery list.