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Phorpain is ibuprofen in gel form which you rub directly onto the area of inflammation. I bought this when I badly twisted my ankle as it says it lists sports injuries as one of the uses. In full, it lists: inflammation associated with backache, rheumatic and muscle pain, sprains, strains and sports injuries. I liked the idea of rubbing the ibuprofen directly on the affected area, it seemed far more direct, and so maybe my expectations were a bit high...? The gel comes in a red box, and inside is a chunky tube - the lid is about 1 inch across, to give you some idea. When you unscrew the cap, the tube is sealed with moulded foil, but there is a point embedded in the cap so that by turning the cap around and poking the point into the tube end, the seal breaks easily. At this point there was a gush of the gel which I had to mop up with tissues - I've no idea why that happened or whether it's usual. The gel is clear and fairly thin without being runny, and it has barely any smell - which puts it above the other similar treatments in my cupboard. However unfortunately that's about where the benefit ended with this for me. The directions for use suggest squeezing 4 to 10 cm per usage - in reality, that turns out to be quite a lot! It took quite a few minutes to get the gel to absorb, and I did end up wiping some excess off with a tissue. Even then it did leave an unpleasant feeling to the skin - not sticky exactly but not dry either. Once applied, you need to bear in mind that it's intended to be the equivalent of taking ibuprofen tablets, so you can't take any tablets if tempted, and also you can't reapply or change to taking tablets for 4 hours. My honest appraisal of this gel is that it had a very minor effect on the swelling and pain. After the four hours had passed I reverted to my more usual approach to this type of thing - 2 x ibuprofen 200mg tablets. I guess you could say that's not giving the product a fair crack of the whip, but the tablets did take have a much more noticeable effect on the inflammation within 20 minutes or so, so naturally I kept up with the tablets rather than reverting to the gel. I can't leave a completely negative review though, because my partner is a runner and he often uses this gel for various aches and pains, and he far prefers using this than taking tablets. He also had a really bad back about three months ago and he used this for relief throughout. His view was that it definitely helped with the inflammation, and sped up his recovery. I honestly can't remember what we paid for this tube, but stated RRP seems to be £5.10 for a 100g tube. I think the decision whether to try this product or not basically comes down to whether you are happy to take tablets or not. As far as I can make out, the dosage and effect *should* be identical, so it just comes down to personal preference. For me, I'll stick to the tablets, it's quicker, and it's not worth the mess unless there was some pretty obvious and quick positive results. However, that *may* say more about my impatience than anything else!
I suffer from back pain on and off. I did have a problem with the sacroileac joint in my lower back but after physio this cleared up. Although the joints are now in the right place, it has left some muscle weakness which flares up from time to time, especially if I have been exercising a lot. I don't really like taking too many painkillers so like to opt for topical pain relief whenever possible. My GP prescribed phorpain gel although you can also buy it over the counter for about £3 for 100ml. The phorpain gel contains 10% ibuprofen which is stronger than many other on the market which contain only 5%. It is in a mixture with other ingredients including hydroxyethyl cellulose, sodium hydroxide, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and purified water. To use the gel you simply squeeze an inch or so out of the tube and rub it into the affected area. The gel is clear and fairly runny, it has a really strong smell of alcohol which I dislike a lot. It is really cold when you apply it which feels nice on the painful area and it is absorbed fairly quickly into the skin. The gel is fairly sticky and leaves a residue on my hands and back which needs to be washed off. The gel works quite well to help my aches and pains. It takes around 10 minutes for the gel to have some effect and it has its maximum effect after 20 minutes or so. It works well in taking away the muscle pains and this relief works for a good few hours before I have to reapply the gel. What I dislike about this gel is that because of the alcohol it dries my skin out and leaves it a bit flaky. This does not happen with all of the ibuprofen gels I use so it is my least favourite of all the different brands I have tried. Although the phorpain gel works at removing pain, I would recommend that you go for a different brand which does not contain alcohol and is kinder on the skin.