You know what gripes my butt? All those commercials for various Over-The-Counter medications which claim to take away arthritis pain… Those damn commercials minimize the pain of arthritis and serve to make non-arthritic folks think that we’re all just whiners and the pain ain’t really all that bad. Bull. My Rheumatoid/Lupus is a constant pain in my ankles, wrists, fingers, knees, spine… you name it. When it flares up, nothing short of heavy narcotics will help me.
Having said that, there are a few things out there that will bring the constant every-day pain down to a manageable level. I’ve pretty much tried them all, and this here WellPatch for Arthritis is pretty durn good.
This WellPatch purchase came about during a minor flare-up while I was out of the heavier knock-my-ass out prescription meds. Lars was beside himself to try to find a way to alleviate that pain, even a little bit. He’s such a sweetheart. He came home with these. I scoffed. He convinced me that anything would be better than nothing, so I tried them. He was right. (Damn it. I hate when that happens…)
So. This box is about $6 for patches, which are about 2.5 X 4 inch squares… err rectangles. They’re put out by WellPatch, which is a division of Mentholatum, a brand we all grew up with. The active ingredient here is 10% Methyl Salicylate, which I believe is basically menthol. They are like big band-aids. Peel off the covering layer and slap that puppy on what’s ailin’ ya.
When I’m hurting, a heating pad helps quite a bit, but it will only cover one area. So the heating pad was delegated to the ankle, and I used this WellPatch on my wrist. It adheres fairly well, but the edges had to be continually pressed back down. A better adhesive would be most welcome for these.
Now, given the active ingredient, I expected too much heat. Many products like this that I’ve tried have felt like they were burning my skin, so I generally avoid them. This one wasn’t like that at all. The heat was so minimal that I couldn’t tell there was any heat except when I covered the area with my hand for additional pressure (which also helps a tad sometimes.)
About 15 minutes later I could see a marked improvement in the pain level. What?!? Yeah. Something that feels like it is doing nothing, actually is. Don’t get me wrong here. You can’t just hand your arthritis-riddled relative a box of these WellPatches and figure the problem is solved. Ok? There is still going to be pain… but these do help quite a bit more than I ever expected them to. Better than most other similar products on the market. They even last about 6 hours (they say 8 hours. Bull.)
As to the odor, the WellPatch smells like peppermint, actually, and not too overbearing at all. It’s really rather pleasant, which is another aspect that surprised me.
So. I give these 4 stars for what they are… and what they are are an additional aid to bringing pain down to a lesser level. Sometimes, that’s all you need. They are not an end-all be-all cure, but they are certainly worth the cost vs. the benefits.