Musculoskeletal Disorders | Acute Effect of Topical Menthol on Neck Pain

Musculoskeletal Disorders research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Topical menthol gels are classified 'topical analgesics' and are used to relieve aching and tenderness of muscles and joints. However, double-blind randomized controlled trials are lacking. Here the investigators examine - in a double-blind randomized controlled cross-over trial - the acute effect of topical menthol (Biofreeze) and placebo (gel with a menthol scent) on neck pain.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - more than 30 days with neck pain during the last year - frequent pain or discomfort, defined as at least 3 days per week - pain intensity at least 4 on a scale of 0-10 - working at least 30 hours per week Exclusion Criteria: - blood pressure above 160/100 mmHg - pregnancy - life-threatening disease

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Other:BiofreezeThe gel will be applied at 2.5 ml per 500 cm2 to the upper trapezius and neck muscles by a gloved technician

Other:PlaceboThe gel will be applied at 2.5 ml per 500 cm2 to the upper trapezius and neck muscles by a gloved technician

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

PlaceboTopical gel containing a menthol scent, but no active menthol

BiofreezeBiofreeze topical gel containing 3.5% menthol

Study Status


Start Date: January 2016

Completed Date: June 2018

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Neck pain intensity (scale 0-10)

Secondary Outcome: Pressure pain threshold (PPT)

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Lars L Andersen, PhD

Lead Sponsor: National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark

Collaborator: Marquette University

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