volterol gel vs ibuprofen tablets

I am struggling . in a lot of pain .

Which do you think is stronger and more effective volterol gel or ibuprofen tablets? I have tried ibuprofen gel which did nothing at all. Is the volterol any different? Its a lot more expensive but does it have more effect?

really fed up, in loads of pain, had a pointless telephone consult with a doctor this morning (which had waited a week for) where she couldn't prescribe me stronger drugs, couldn't do a referral to orthopaedic hospital, couldn't tell me whether I could have steroid jab or not and end conclusion was she booked me for another telephone consult with my own doctor for one weeks time, did nothing useful at all. utterly useless.

my knee is swollen to hell, knee cap subluxating & gone unstable, has lost strength, stabbing pains in back of knee and its boiling hot and its been this bad for 3 weeks now. always been rubbish as grade 3/4 arthritic -I have to pace myself as too much time on feet and I pay for it for a day or two and had load of surgery on it in past but its dramatically got worse just walking a bit quick for a few minutes weeks ago.now can't walk more then a few feet without it kicking off, can't do housework, can't walk dog. nearly got trapped in bath yesterday as such a struggle to get out. I'm 48 and feel 90.

please someone tell me- is it worth getting the volterol? or is it no better then ibuprofen?


  • Elmbow
    Elmbow Member Posts: 80

    How much ibuprofen were you taking? If your pain is bad you need to be on quite a high dose every day for it to work but that means you need something to protect your stomach, like omeprazole. It's dangerous otherwise. I personally don't think gels work as well. When you think about it, how can they penetrate skin and get into your system the way a tablet does. You should speak to a doctor. They might be able to give you some stronger painkillers and recommend some gel that will soothe the area.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    thank you. I am on 4 x day of 2 co-dydramol 10mg/500mg plus 4 x day of 2 standard ibuprofen 200mg. at the moment it isn't working :(

    I don't take them all the time as try to not take too many pills but these last few weeks have had to have every day . I've tried without and that proves they are doing something as its worse without. I am on omeprazole too.

    Really was upset earlier after speaking to doctor , have calmed down a bit now. Will just have to put up with it until it settles down I think. I do all the elevate, ice etc, tens not touching it, etc.

    my next chance to talk to a doctor is in a week,

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,607

    Hi @sunnyside2

    You do sound to be struggling a lot at the moment and wonder whether you could discuss your medication with your GP. There are prescription only anti-inflammatories for example: Painkillers and NSAIDs | Side-effects, uses, time to work (versusarthritis.org) I very much hope the suggestion of trying a steroid injection will be raised again too.

    I sounds as though you are doing everything you can yourself in the meantime.

    Best wishes


  • Sandman33
    Sandman33 Member Posts: 13

    I have OA in knees, left hip, right elbow. Referred pain up right arm and can’t put left heel on the bed without pain. So bad nights you might say and hobble around during the day. Have just asked Son to take the dog out after another dreadful night with throbbing knees and getting up and down.

    I’m on Morphine Sulphate and Co-Codamol for OA. Can’t take Brufen because of hypertension tablets. The Morphine helps I think because when I run out like now I have really bad days and nights so can’t be a coincidence. I agree that tablets or Morphine is better than gels or brufen anyway as gets into the bloodstream. Might be worth speaking to your Doctor again. I’m 57 and was reasonably fit not that long ago. Good luck.

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi @sunnyside2

    I just asked how you found your GP appt on your other discussion, I'm sorry it didn't help. Thank goodness they booked another appt with your own GP for next week. Don't lose your questions in the meantime.

    Here is our information on pain relief, which covers other areas as well as tablets, I hope there will be a little something there which will make it a bit more bearable.

    Keep talking, we are here and we know how pain feels - and we can walk this bit of the journey with you!

    Take care

    Yvonne x

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    much happier today- had telephone appt with my own Doctor and he has agreed to give me a steroid injection in a weeks time. and refer me back to the orthopaedic consultants.

    still do not have effective pain killer for this week but its only a week and I can manage a week knowing on count down to steroid jab which will hopefully calm it down & stop it hurting so much. It makes a world of difference to pain when know it will be likely resolved in a week. Its worked for me before so hopefully will this time and if the steroid does not have desired effect I will get more pushy that I have GOT to have a stronger pain med as I cannot go on at this level.

    thanks everyone for listening to me moan!!!

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,607

    That is excellent news @sunnyside2 do let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Good luck with that @sunnyside2

    I am really pleased I hope it helps you loads 🙂

  • Tracie
    Tracie Member Posts: 57

    Hey I think voltrol gel works I get mine on prepaid prescription. Got to keep using it tho. Naproxen n amitriptyline works for me.only 7.5 of amitriptyline as knocks me out. Just started very slowly on exercise bike hardly moving but actually helps my knees. Cold compress really good.

    My neck elbows hands wrists n knees are the worst also have fibromyalgia.

    I wear a wireless tens machine hand gloves support anything that works. I dont care 🤪

    Hope your steroid injections helps.


  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    Thank you all. I am just holding that its now less then a week till injection . I can put up with this till then providing don't move much.

    And yes I know exercise is great for arthritis but not when as swollen as this so when move knee cap slides out -it hurts like hell and then swells up even more. I need to get the swelling down then can exercise again. done all the normal tricks of ice, warmth, elevation, knee brace but as soon as I walk on it it goes 'wrong' again so trying my best to keep it still to reduce the swelling so that when I do have to move I have a bit more chance of getting to loo and back without it kicking off. I do know steroid reduces swelling so relief is in sight - and I'll be able to exercise again.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    O Happy day! Just got back from GP, referred to the Orthopaedic Hospital done, Steroid injection in knee done, and I also got my covid vaccine booked for Friday!  

    Taxi there and back as can't walk 20 foot without it kicking off but with any luck in a few days time the steroid will do its magic and will be a lot better. Just got to go easy for a few days to allow the magic to do its thing but so much happier 

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88

    Hi @sunnyside2 this question makes me sound like a real baby, but do the steroid injections hurt? I hate needles (despite having two epidurals during the birth of my two daughters) and if my pain ever gets to the point where injections are mentioned, I'm dreading them so will have to refuse. I do believe steroid tablets can be taken orally so I'm hoping I have the option when the time comes. At the moment, fortunately, a combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol works for me and I also have a TENS machine which is a godsend.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    pain is very very brief- ie nano second. the steroid injection also has a bit of local anasthetic in it so the relief is wonderful.

    honestly I am a total wuss and was terrified when first was suggested but its nothing. I just don't look and its so damn quick its over before you realise its began. I don't look though!!!

    I've now had 4 of them. if it hurt badly I wouldn't have had more then one. Its not much sharper a pain then a tenns machine on highest setting -and over immediatly. I think its the thought of it really- idea of needle in a painful joint is hard to get your head round but the thought really is worse then the event.

    Steroid tablets are apparently not ideal if you can avoid- too many side effects if the arthritis is localised- better to dose just the area that needs doing rather then flooding whole body with the drug. some people have no choice and need tablet steroids but the injections have fewer unwanted effects

  • jeddison1985
    jeddison1985 Member Posts: 211

    Hi @Whiskey26 please see below a link to information about steroid injections which should give you a good understanding of everything you need to know about them.



  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88

    Hi @sunnyside2 thank you so much for your reply. It's certainly given me food for thought and I will definitely have to consider it if the pain was to get worse and normal painkillers didn't do the trick 🤔