Applying a menthol pain reliever prior to strength training reduces chronic low back pain and increases functional capacity in overweight or obese older adult



Spine, Musculoskeletal pain, Elastic bands, Topical gel, Body composition


The combined effect of a muscle strength training program with the previous application of a topical menthol gel on the intensity of chronic low back pain (CLP) and the functional capacity of overweight/obese older women was evaluated. A randomized controlled clinical trial with parallel group comparison was conducted. In Phase 1 (12-weeks), 31 women were randomly assigned: (i) a control group that did not change their habits (CG; n = 11); (ii) group of strength training prior to application of a gel with menthol (RTM; n = 10) and (iii) group that performed the same training prior to application of a placebo gel (RTP; n = 10). After 12 weeks of no training, phase 2 of the study (32-week duration) was run, where the RTM and RTP women were randomly reassigned. It was evaluated before and after each phase: body composition, functional capacity, pain perception and Oswestry disability index. The significance level established for the study was p ≤ .05. Both training groups significantly improved all variables after stages 1 and 2, with significant post-intervention differences but no significant intergroup differences, although RTM obtained better results. The percentage of improvement in pain perception and functional parameters were related to the intervention time without positive effects for CG. In conclusion, the use of menthol gel prior to a muscle strength program reduced pain and enhanced the functional improvements achieved as a result of moderate-high intensity training in older adult women with CLP and overweight or obesity.


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How to Cite

Fritz, N. B., Calatayud, J., Page, P., Yadav, M., Sidiq, M., & Colado, J. C. (2020). Applying a menthol pain reliever prior to strength training reduces chronic low back pain and increases functional capacity in overweight or obese older adult. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(4proc), S1224-S1241. Retrieved from

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