Ointments may be better for pain than oral medications

SAN FRANCISCO

Gels, creams and sprays including ibuprofen and Voltaren were successful at reducing pain in sports related injuries by at least 50 percent over their oral equivalents.

They did not work nearly as well for headaches or chronic pain,

Topical pain relievers are relatively unknown in the U.S. but have been widely used in Western Europe for many years.

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