Sponsored by Sombra
There are many warriors in the world.
Some have chosen the title of “warrior” as a profession, as is the case with the more than 2.4 million Americans currently serving in one of the branches of the U.S. military, whether as active duty or reserve troops, according to Statista.
Others have chosen the title of warrior on more of a hobby-type basis, using their weekends and any other time off work as an opportunity to prove their strength and resilience both mentally and physically by engaging in intense exercise. Unfortunately, both of types of warriors occasionally sustain injuries.
Injuries sustained by military personnel and part-time fitness enthusiasts
In the case of military warriors, although some of their injuries are battle-related, Reuters reports that approximately 35 percent of the medical issues this population faces actually occur off the battlefield.
For instance, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training states that musculoskeletal injuries obtained during initial entry training—many of which are correlated to the type of training endured and the individual’s level of physical fitness upon entering the armed forces—are the top medical reason keeping new soldiers from deploying, impacting approximately 68,000 military personnel per year.
Weekend warriors also face the potential of injury, with U.S. News & World Report indicating that this risk is higher for those who choose vigorous activities versus those who participate in lower-impact sports and exercises. Injury rates also tend to be elevated for weekend warriors who don’t warm up or cool down, as well as those who routinely try to push their limitations according to U.S. News.
Research has found that topical analgesics can oftentimes help in many of these scenarios. But how?
Topicals: How they work and the conditions they can help treat
A 2010 review of data and treatment options published by The Physician and Sportsmedicine found that topical analgesics work by acting on the peripheral nervous system, which consists of all of the nerves outside the central nervous system. The U.S. National Library of Medicine further explains that these are the nerves that extend from the spinal cord to the extremities, providing communication from the brain to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
Having these areas of the body in top shape is especially important for soldiers because their safety—and sometimes their lives—depends on their ability to act quickly with their hands and feet, and to act without the distraction of pain. Weekend warriors benefit as well because being able to move these areas of their body freely and without discomfort enables them to continue to participate in the activities they enjoy most.
Another use of topical analgesics is to help warriors of all kinds ease pain associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 30 million adult Americans today.
U.S. Medicine adds that this condition is even more prevalent for military personnel, both because of increased repetitive actions and load-bearing activities, and because of any pre-existing joint misalignments or joint inflammation suffered by the person prior to enlisting.
Topicals provide minimal adverse effects
Though there are many treatment options available to help ease these types of pain, the 2010 review in The Physician and Sportsmedicine states that, because topicals are applied only to the area of injury, they don’t impact the rest of the body.
This results in “minimal systemic absorption and risk of related adverse effects,” which is one factor that sets this pain treatment method apart from many others.
In fact, one of the most critical reasons health care professionals choose to treat musculoskeletal injuries with topicals whenever possible is because this treatment method doesn’t expose patients to the full-body negative side effects often experienced with pill-based pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Topicals versus pill-based pain relievers
For instance, research published in the American Family Physician indicates that, when taken in pill form, NSAIDS can adversely affect an individual’s cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, while also negatively impacting kidney function. When NSAIDs are used in topical treatments, however, they are more “effective in providing pain relief for acute musculoskeletal conditions” than placebo treatments, many times reducing pain by 50 percent or more.
Topicals also don’t come with the negative side effects of opioid-based painkillers. Healthline reports that, in addition to having a high risk of addiction and misuse, opioids can also result in nausea, vomiting, slower breathing rate, and even coma. Some opioid users experience hallucinations, collapsed veins, or wind up with clogged blood vessels.
Warriors and topicals: the perfect combination
For these reasons, topical analgesics are treatment options to consider for both professional and weekend warriors experiencing pain related to musculoskeletal issues or osteoarthritis. Not only are they often effective at reducing localized pain by at least 50 percent, but they do so without the negative side effects commonly associated with pill-based treatment options. This makes them perfect for first-level treatment of pain.
Commitment to high quality was the cornerstone for the establishment of Sombra Professional Therapy Products in 1974. With a strong belief in pure and natural ingredients, combined with an unyielding stance against unhealthy solvents, diluting agents, animal testing and by-products, Sombra is an economical, environmentally sensitive choice. The Sombra professional line is manufactured in our own facility where oversight and quality control are strictly monitored. As a result, the professional line is only sold through distributors to certified health professionals.