Topical gels / creams for nerve pain

Hi. Sorry question 3 of the day. Does anyone know of any topical gels / creams or even alternative options which could help with nerve pain. It's my lower back area. It's very painful, not burning pains but my skin is really hot to touch in the sore areas. I use versatis patches overnight but after 12 hours these have to be removed so I'm looking for something to help with the other 12 hours of the day. Thank you.

24 Replies

  • Hello

    Go to chemist they will look after you


  • Thanks Bob, Blairgowrie may be a beautiful place, but very small so the chemist only stocks biofeeeze gel :-(. Maybe city life does have its ups! Thanks for the reply.

  • The doc can prescribe capsaicin cream. It's made from peppers and is said to have a beneficial effect. I have some but not tried it yet.

  • I have some too from the doc, but since my skin is so hot to touch I wondered if this would work.

  • My Pain Cons recommended the capsaicin .75 strength but he said to dilute with E45 cream and to wear latex gloves when applying.

  • Thanks again, I know the doc gave me the lower strength one, but I just feel that if my skin is so hot to touch, is it wise to put something on which essentially creates heat? I just don't know about that one. I think also the capsaicin takes a few weeks to start working properly?

  • Yes, I've heard it can take six weeks to take effect - one reason why I haven't tried it yet !

  • Hi,

    Have you tried Dermacool cream? I use this daily to help with nerve pain. It is not a wonder drug but does help. In basic terms it is aqueous cream and menthol. You can buy over the counter for £5.95 or if your GP agrees it can be prescribed. I use the 2% cream. All the best.

  • Hi I not heard of this one, I will have a look for it, is the one the GP prescribes stronger than the 2%? Thanks for the information.

  • Hi,

    No same strength but you would get it for free. All the best.

  • Thanks I will maybe buy some and if it does help then I can ask for a prescription. Thanks again as I have never heard of this one.

  • "my skin is really hot to touch in the sore areas." Does this suggest an infection. Speak to your GP about antibiotics. Muscular pain can be caused by infections.

  • Hi John. It's been like this for years, I did wonder about the whole antibiotic "cure" for back pain which was recently reported. I have the bulging discs, modic changes which are the indicators for being a candidate for treatment but its not approved in the UK yet. I'm not sure if an infection could linger for years without making you very ill, I don't know? Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

  • Actually it can. Shingles is the chicken pox virus resting in the body. TB is an infection that can linger in the body for years. Lyme Desease is another infection that can linger in the body for years. There are a number of others which I cannot remember the names of.

    There are some of the STD's which wrought destruction and by the time it is realised it is too late.

    Erythromycin is worth trying. Work since 1997 has found it to be a good anti-inflamatory. When my shoulder pain gets too much I take it for about a week and it eases the pain considerably. I believe the pain is due to an infection my GP differs. What ever it works.

    Side effects from Erythromycin for me is nil.

  • Hi John, that all makes sense and I have always wondered about infection. I did not realise about these diseases you mention can linger for so long without giving you other symptoms or serious grief such as fever etc.

    Are your docs ok about prescribing the antibiotic to you even if he disagrees? Thanks for the information.

  • I do not think my GP is happy about it. He has paperwork which says reduce prescribing of antibiotics. However it works. My medical records show it works. I even got a two week prescription based on the recommendation of the consultant/physiotherapist who discussed my MRI scan with me.

    There is literature which shows that it works.

    You are in the position that you have tried other things which have not worked. So you can put in an argument to try and see if it works on a trial basis. You have the argument that this has been tried in other cases and it has worked.

    If it works or helps great if it does not you have tried something new.

    250 mg Erythromycin comes in red and white tablets. The white ones never worked for me.

  • If the facet (s) is inflamed it could feel hot to touch. Erythema is when there is underlying inflammation. Facet capsules can swell up to the size of golf balls! Have you tried ice pack followed by massage to disgorge the swelling? Best wishes

  • Hi boozybird, thanks for the reply. I'm not sure, would that have been picked up by the MRI (had one done inMarch). I have not tried massage, what type of massage do you think might help. I'm open to any suggestions! Thanks again

  • Hi C,

    I don't think MRI would say anything about swollen facet capsules but it might have said facet joint arthropathy? When the disc wears down the facet joint capsules are easily irritated now being closer together. Soft tissue problem isnt of interest to anyone on MRi but it is a potent source of pain! Anyway, regarding the massage it would depend on how reactive your back is and you might need to go regularly. I had a bloated facet for years until I had very deep massage. You can 'bleed' it like a radiator yourself with a tennis ball rolling underneath you but sometimes it hard to locate the source yourself so knowing hands of another can be a blessing and a relief. They can feel swollen capsules and pump them with their fingers until they empty and you feel relief but unfortunately if the disc is really gone like mine they remain a source of arthritic pain as the disc cushioning has gone and the capsules remain irritable. Anyway, worth a shot with a good masseur, strong but sensitive hands, long strokes up and down the back close to the centre - facets lie about an inch out either side of spinous processes (knobbly pearls that run down the middle). The hardest to reach are L5 coz they lie so close to sacroiliacs and its bony in there. Where is your hot spot? Mine is L4 so easy to reach and I have a rolling massage machine which I use every day. Sweet pain. You could use an anti inflam gel afterwards if its very sore. It's tender type pain. Anyway, best wishes

  • Thanks Boozybird, this is a really helpful and informative reply. I suppose I am a little wary of getting massages for fear of making my back worse, but it's one of these things which could in fact make you much better. I'm guessing the deep tissue massage would be done by a sports masseur. I did have mobilisation done on my spine at physio, and bot did that make things so much worse. I will give the whole massage thing some more thought and I will let you know if I take the plunge and just go for it. One of my main problems is spasms in my lower back so maybe by working the muscles it will help. Thanks again.

  • The skill of the masseuse is everything! Good luck. :)

  • A great cooling creamy gel is Pernaton, available in health food shops. More expensive than Dermacool, it has extracts of rosemary, pine and eucalyptus and green lipped mussel. The mussel extract is claimed to benefit joints and connective tissue. I find it a great pain reliever for neuropathic pain ,and gorgeous to use. I use versatis too, aren't they great? A cheaper option is the old standby, Tiger Balm White (a thick balm, menthol with eucalyptus and some other goodies), they use it on racehorses too. . Downside is it's not quite so easy to apply to your back without help. Good luck.

  • Hey Bowbells. Thanks for the reply, I shall look out for Pernaton, I will try Amazon to see if they have it. I think I have actually seen it in my local chemist at £10 for a tube and I did not want to splash out without a recommendation, but I certainly read about the mussel extract. Thanks for the info. Have you ever tried linament? Charles

  • I've tried Tiger Balm, red and white. White one good for me. Might be a cheaper option for you than Pernaton but it's harder and less pleasant to apply. All the standard heat/ cold items you can buy over the counter I have tried. I find them very short lasting and less effective than Pernaton or Tiger Balm. Wearable heat packs I find v.good. They really do last over 12 hours and relieve muscle spasm well. Best wishes, Bowbells

You may also like...