A back pain patch is a type of disposable adhesive patch that is applied directly to the skin for the purposes of relieving mild or moderate back pain, such as from a muscle strain. Some use heat to relieve pain, while others use a topical pain reliever and are typically labeled as "medicated"; they typically use an ingredient such as menthol or capsaicin to relax the tense muscles. Others may contain salicylates, which are used in aspirin but may be used topically in a back pain patch for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as lidocaine, which is a type of anesthetic.
Any of these different types of back pain patches can be effective, and it largely depends on one's personal preferences as well as any recommendations from a doctor regarding the safety of using a back pain patch. They are usually fairly inexpensive and may be purchased over the counter at most drugstores and grocery stores, or ordered online. They are available in different sizes, but most are designed to easily cover the lower back, because that is where most people experience muscle strains and back pain. Similar patches are available to treat pain in other areas of the body, such as knee pain, for example.
For people who are experiencing back pain just because of tired or sore muscles, or who do not wish to apply any medication topically to the skin, a back pain patch that heats up when applied to the skin is often the best choice. These help to relax the muscles, and most people find that they make a difference in the level of pain relatively quickly. A back pain patch combined with a pain relieving pill, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can be especially effective.
Some back pain patches will use a combination of heat as well as medication to relax the muscles and relieve pain. A back pain patch will typically be effective at relieving pain for a few hours before it will be necessary to apply a new patch, but some are designed to last all day. It is important to follow the directions and remove the pain patch when instructed to avoid causing skin irritation. Most back pain patches are sold in a multipack in stores. If the back pain persists and does not seem to be healing, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor to ensure that there is no actual injury present.