Topical Prescription Pain Medications for Post-Surgical Pain

There is no surgery which isn’t accompanied with pain. Whether the pain is mild or severe, it depends on the procedure, the surgeon, and how well the operation went. It is therefore better to discuss post-surgical pain with your surgeon before the surgery, as well as how to manage and deal with it.

Researchers recently assessed responses from 1030 patients who underwent surgery at some point in time between 2006 and 2009, which was a 32 percent response rate. Of those participants, 46 percent reported persistent pain, with a median average pain score of 3 of 10 and worst pain score of 5.

How to Manage Post-Surgical Pain

There are various factors which determine pain and how to deal with it in the best possible way. These include:Pain Cream for Failed Back Surgery

  • Varying pain – Every surgery is unique in its own way, so pain varies for each type of surgery.
  • Surgery length – A long surgery, in particular, can take its toll on you apart from causing pain.
  • Individual pain response – Our reactions to pain determine the amount of pain we feel.

Controlling pain is vital for a quick and efficient recovery. With good pain control techniques, you can get up and move around within a few days. This is quite helpful because it decreases:

  • The risk of blood clots in various parts of the body.
  • The likelihood of urinary infections.
  • The incidence of chronic lingering pain problems.


Common Methods for Controlling Post-Surgical Pain

Recent studies have shown that patients, who take medications after surgery to control their pain, often end up using fewer pain killers in the long run than those patients who avoid pain killers after surgery.

Treatment of post-operative pain can be by one medication, or a combination of various medicines. There are various methods for the routes of administration of these medicines such as oral, parenteral (through injections). The most common medications prescribed include:

  • Narcotics – Such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, or morphine.
  • Local anesthetics  – Such as lidocaine.
  • Acetaminophen – Such as Tyleneol.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – Such as ibuprofen, which are used to treat infections or inflammation around the wounds.


Topical Medications for Pain – An Easy Pain Reliever

Topical medicines are directly applied to the skin and they are available in various forms such as gels, creams and lotions. Topical medications are applied locally and they directly act on the part on which they are applied. They produce almost negligible side effects and get absorbed from the skin. There are two types of topical medications:

  • Topical anesthetics: Anesthetics, when applied on the skin, numb that body part and are therefore quite effective for pain. It is important to note that topical anesthetics basically eradicate the sensation of pain instead of eliminating it.


  • Topical analgesics: They come in various forms such as creams, gels, and they are pain relievers. Their mechanism is simple absorption, and therefore, they act directly and eliminate the pain.


There are various topical agents available on the market, and the best part is that they come in various forms such as sprays, gels, creams, lotions, and patches. There are a few benefits of topical medications, which have made them popular in the recent years. For one thing, they have fewer side effects than oral medications, and another factor is that they can be used without prescriptions.


  • Counter irritants: These irritants cause a simultaneous burning and cooling effect. The burning and cooling sensation distracts the patient from the pain. The ingredients in these topical medications are menthol and camphor.


  • Salicylates: These topical drugs are quite effective in treating pain such as aspirin. They come in the form of creams and are mostly used to treat pain in bones, joins, and fingers.


  • Capsaicin: When applied on the skin, this substance causes a warm and tickly effect which soon fades away. This topical medication is quite effective in post-surgical treatment.


Liu, S.S., Buvanendran, A., Rathmell, J.P. et al. (2012). A cross-sectional survey on prevalence and risk factors for persistent postsurgical pain 1 year after total hip and knee replacement. Reg Anesth Pain Med, 37(4), 415 – 422. Retrieved from:

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