One article on PainSci cites Mason 2004: Voltaren Gel: Does It Work?
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy and safety of topical rubefacients containing salicylates in acute and chronic pain. DATA SOURCES: Electronic databases and manufacturers of salicylates. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised double blind trials comparing topical rubefacients with placebo or another active treatment, in adults with acute or chronic pain, and reporting dichotomous information, around a 50% reduction in pain, and analyses at one week for acute conditions and two weeks for chronic conditions. DATA EXTRACTION: Relative benefit and number needed to treat, analysis of adverse events, and withdrawals. DATA SYNTHESIS: Three double blind placebo controlled trials had information on 182 patients with acute conditions. Topical salicylate was significantly better than placebo (relative benefit 3.6, 95% confidence interval 2.4 to 5.6; number needed to treat 2.1, 1.7 to 2.8). Six double blind placebo controlled trials had information on 429 patients with chronic conditions. Topical salicylate was significantly better than placebo (relative benefit 1.5, 1.3 to 1.9; number needed to treat 5.3, 3.6 to 10.2), but larger, more valid studies were without significant effect. Local adverse events and withdrawals were generally rare in trials that reported them. CONCLUSIONS: Based on limited information, topically applied rubefacients containing salicylates may be efficacious in the treatment of acute pain. Trials of musculoskeletal and arthritic pain suggested moderate to poor efficacy. Adverse events were rare in studies of acute pain and poorly reported in those of chronic pain. Efficacy estimates for rubefacients are unreliable owing to a lack of good clinical trials.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.