Topical agents for the management of musculoskeletal pain

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 Mar;33(3):342-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2006.11.005.


The recent recognition of the magnitude of cardiovascular risk of both nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and COX-2 selective inhibitors, in addition to the persistent concerns about the use of opioids, has brought increased attention to nonsystemic, topical analgesics. These agents have a favorable safety profile and there is increasing evidence indicating their efficacy for a variety of pain disorders. The use of topical analgesics in the treatment of the most prevalent musculoskeletal pain syndromes is described, with a focus on mechanisms for drug delivery and clinical trials data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / complications*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology*


  • Analgesics