Researchers have found that adding menthol to a topical cream of blended cetylated fatty acids eases the pain and improves movement in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. The study, presented April 19, 2004, at the Experimental Biology 2004 meeting, included 10 people with knee OA, 10 with wrist OA, and 8 with elbow OA. The participants applied the menthol/cetylated fatty acid cream to the affected area 2 times a day for a week.
After 1 week, the participants were examined for pain, stiffness, range of motion, balance, and movement.
Generally, OA is treated with pain-reducing medications, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors. The researchers concluded that adding menthol to topical creams with cetylated fatty acids provides pain relief.