Are Topical Meds a Good Alternative to Prescription Pain Killers?

pain pills opioids

In any surgical field, the less we have to mess with our body, the better it is for healing. The traditional treatment for recovery from surgery is combination prescription pills for pain and inflammation. However, these medications have several pitfalls – they’re not a viable option for people with certain health issues, use disorders, religions, ages, and other factors. As well, they have short and long-term side effects that can really add up.

At the same time, there’s a reason painkillers are the standard in medical pain management: they’re good at what they do. But with all the downsides, there’s got to be other options. Natural pain management methods, especially topical gels and creams, are an emerging solution for pain in the field of oral surgery. They’re non-invasive, more targeted than oral meds, and don’t pose the health risks opioids and NSAIDs do.

But do they work, though?

Natural Ingredients that Relieve Oral Pain & Inflammation

We’ve had great luck with holistic oral surgery techniques at our practice – from dentin autografting to Waterlase to homeopathic pain management. There are plenty of topical at-home remedies for inflammation and pain, and we even offer our patients a convenient recovery kit that incorporates all of them!

  • Arnica: Used for centuries for pain and inflammation from illness and injury, arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones, which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
  • Calendula: Commonly known as marigold, calendula contains compounds that prevent inflammation (flavonoids), pain (triterpenoids) and bruising/swelling (coumarins).
  • Chamomile & Echinacea: Both traditional remedies for various ailments, including pain and inflammation, chamomile and echinacea reduce the production of inflammatory compounds like carrageenan and inflammatory signalers cytokines.
  • Hepar hypericum: A combination of sulfur and St. John’s Wort, sulfur is a key mineral for immune function and cell growth, and St. John’s Wort promotes serotonin and norepinephrine, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Ignatia: Traditionally used for a wide array of skin, pain and gut conditions, ignatia’s mechanisms are mysterious, but it has shown an ability to reduce inflammation and the perception of pain in clinical studies.
  • Ledum palustre: Its homeopathic properties indicate that ledum palustre acts as an anti-inflammatory by blocking the production of inflammatory compounds, controls pain by blocking pain receptors, and fights pain and swelling by relaxing muscles.
  • Ruta & Silicea: The graveolens in ruta and silicea can help to speed up the healing of injured tissues. This may be due to their ability to increase blood flow to the injured area and to promote the production of new collagen.
  • Staphysagria: Science doesn’t yet understand exactly how staphsagria works, but it has shown an ability to reduce pain signaling, block inflammatory signals, and improve blood flow to the injured area, which can speed healing.


Note: These herbs and herbal compounds are only for topical use; some are toxic if ingested.

An Holistic Option for Post-Surgery Pain: the StellaLife VEGA Recovery Kit

We strive to offer our patients the best in oral surgery – and part of that is finding natural ways to replace potentially-harmful things like prescription pain pills with safe alternatives like the StellaLife VEGA Oral Care Recovery Kit. A 3-step system comprised of homeopathic topical analgesic ingredients, the oral rinse, spray and gel are meant to be used for 10 days, beginning 3 days before the procedure.

The way the VEGA Recovery Kit program is designed, you not only prepare your body for recovery before the surgery even starts, but you have a 3x/day routine to help manage the pain and inflammation for a full week post-surgery. Plus, these topical treatments also protect the health of your teeth and gums during recovery by fighting bacteria and plaque. Many of our patients choose not to use their pain prescription at all, as this holistic pain-management program is just as effective as it is safe and natural.

Learn more about our holistic approach oral surgery, healing and pain management.

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