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Roll on mentholated pain relief on Shabbos

Question:

I have terrible low back pain. May I use Biofreeze Pain Relieving Roll on on Shabbos? Please let me know. Thank you very much. Aidel Kahn.

Answer:

I’m sorry to hear about your difficulty. Regarding using the pain reliever on shabbos, it depends on how bad the pain is. If it is only inconvenient, then we may not apply the pain reliever, because of the prohibition not to take medications for minor aches and pains. However if the pain is incapacitating (it causes you to have to get into bed because of the pain, or it feels like your whole body hurts) then it is permitted. Regarding the fact that it is a roll on, that would not be an issue, as the roll on is a liquid and it isn’t considered smearing.

Have a refuah shleima

Sources:

O:CH 328-17, Halachos of Refuah on Shabbos pg. 252.

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