I THINK it works........
I had swollen ankles for about a week and ibuprofen cream certainly seemed to help, it also had a pleasant soothing cooling effect too. A walker who was suffering with a knee injury was given some at the farmacia and his pain subsided over the next few days. As with any pain relief, would the pain have gone anyway or was it the medication? Who can tell? I try to take a half-used tube for weight reasons knowing I can replace it if necessary.
I trashed my knees on the first day out of St. Jean. The farmacia gave me a combination of 600mg Ibuprofen tablets and Ibuprofen creme. I found that the creme provided quicker relief and deadened the pain until the tablets would kick in. I also used the creme for aching shoulders and such and found it effective.