Do you sometimes feel that you just need a bit of ‘WD40’ in your joints to get them going? Your wishes may well come true. A new drug free topical gel ‘Flexiseq’ has been launched into the UK market and is clinically proven to be effective to treat joint pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis.
I originally heard about this product from a patient of mine that managed to get a hold of it from a friend of a friend and imported it from Germany. She reported good results for her knee osteoarthritis. I didn’t take much notice of it at the time. However, not long after an article appeared in our industry osteopathic magazine ‘ Osteopathy Today’ written by Ken Brooks an Osteopath in Worcester, who tried it on his own painful knees and was impressed and then proceeded to trial it on a small group of patients in his practice.
This grabbed my attention and I proceeded to look into more detail into how the product works and how well. I was impressed to see the number of reviews on Amazon (1072) with 66% scoring it 4 or 5 stars. Reading through some of the reviews there were some that thought it was a miracle gel for pretty bad arthritis and others it did not help at all.
The main complaint was the cost per tube and the need to wait 10-minutes for the gel to dry which according to the manufacturer is very important.
This gel is specifically designed to lubricate joint spaces and thereby reducing pain associated with worn cartilage. The gel is neither an analgesic (painkiller) or anti-inflammatory so it will not work on strained ligaments or muscles (this is my understanding from its mode of action). There seems to be very specific requirements to target the joint space improving lubrication and not the muscles, ligaments or tendons. So, it would not be effective for a tennis elbow or repetitive strain injury complaint. I wonder if the reason it may not have worked on some is the difficulty in knowing where the joints are and therefore not targeting the correct area.
As an example, I found that a patient of mine was applying her gel to her low back and buttock and hip muscles (all the areas that hurt). Although she had a very good result from her experience she was certainly wasting a lot of the gel by applying to all areas that were painful rather than the problem joint only. Of course, I educated her on exactly where she needed to apply the gel. It would be wise to ensure that your pain is from arthritis and that you are advised on where the actual joint spaces are before using this very expensive gel.
I must say I am encouraged by what I read and hear about this product and will be recommending that my patients with the appropriate condition and education use it.