Menthol is a natural compound that is found in plants such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and spearmint. It has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties for its ability to alleviate pain and inflammation. In this article, we’ll explore how menthol works and its benefits for pain relief.
How Menthol Works
When applied topically, menthol works by interacting with the TRPM8 receptor, a protein that is located on the surface of nerve cells. Menthol has been shown to be effective in initially stimulating nociceptors and then desensitizing them as well as activating central analgesic pathways. When menthol comes into contact with the TRPM8 receptor, it activates the receptor, which then sends a signal to the brain, telling it that it is cold. This causes a cooling sensation on the skin and a warming after-effect and can help to relieve discomfort.
Benefits of Menthol for Pain Relief
Approximately one in five Americans struggle with some type of chronic pain according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with roughly 8% reportedly having “high-impact chronic pain”(Chiropractic Economics, 2019). Menthol has properties that work to help alleviate pain caused by muscle strains, sprains, and arthritis.
Menthol provides relief to the body by reducing inflammation and swelling by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines are proteins that are produced by the immune system in response to injury or infection. When produced in excess, these cytokines can lead to chronic inflammation, which is associated with many health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
Menthol has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis, and neurogenic pain helping to reduce pain and stiffness and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This natural compound has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties. Menthol’s ability to alleviate pain and inflammation has been well-documented, and it is commonly used in many over-the-counter pain relief products. Overall, using products such as our Pain Master Pain Relief creams and salves that contain this ingredient, menthol is an effective and safe option for pain and inflammation relief, and it is a valuable tool for those who suffer from chronic pain or inflammation.