Hi, haven't been around in a while (been feeling well and been busy, yay!) but I have a question for anyone who uses Voltaren Gel regularly.
I recently started using it for my fairly minor longtime knee pain, and the package says to use 4 grams per joint, up to four times per day. Given the price of the stuff (I paid like $35 for one tube!) I don't want to use more than is necessary to keep my knee happy. Has anyone gotten away with using significantly less?
Also, the doctor suggests it might help the muscle pain in my lower back. I suspect it might be too deep for the gel to reach. Can anyone offer experience or opinions?
You can ask your doctor to prescribe more. My doctor prescribes 6 tubes/month but I have had a bone scan showing arthritis bilaterally in almost all joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and cervical and lumbar spine). She actually prescribed more than that but insurance would only cover 6. If you have a hefty copay or no coverage you can look for the copay assistance from Voltaren. It is worth $30 off. (Of course, if you are in Canada, don't bother as no prescription is needed there for Voltaren Gel.) It is very sooting but didn't take all the pain away.
Thus far, I'm using about 2g at a time on my sore knee, and it seems to be helping, which is good, because like many people I'm no longer able to take oral NSAIDS. I'm able to do more without provoking knee pain, which allows me to be more active, which helps my back pain too.
Honestly, I've had this knee thing for twelve, going on thirteen years now, and this is the best treatment I've found. In fact, it's the only thing that helps, other than ice and avoiding certain activities. Since I can pay for it without real pocketbook pain, I'm not going to sweat it.
I don't think I'll use the gel directly on my back, because the painful area is just so large it wouldn't be practical (basically my entire back!). I'll stick to menthol-based topicals, and pills when it gets intolerable.
Madeofglass, the thing about Voltaren Gel is that, so far as I understand it, it works best when the source of the pain is localized, inflammatory, and reasonably close to the surface. For a sprained ankle or arthritic hands, it can be great. For something widespread, or deep inside you like certain hip joint problems, it's just not suitable.