Study results from Nottingham University scientists comparing topical (applied to the skin) NSAIDs, oral NSAIDs, and a dummy topical treatment revealed that: Topical NSAIDs offered better pain relief than the dummy treatment for the first two weeks, but after that period of time it was no more effective than the dummy treatment. Topical NSAIDS were less effective than comparable oral NSAIDS even in the first two weeks. Oral NSAIDs demonstrated long term effectiveness. Their conclusion: the benefit of topical NSAIDS is short-lived. Read the BBC News story.