This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
To review the evidence from controlled trials on the efficacy and safety of topically applied NSAIDs in chronic musculoskeletal pain. Topical NSAIDs will be compared with topical placebo, and different drugs compared indirectly because few, if any, trials test two topical preparations head to head (Mason 2004b). In addition, any topical NSAID will be compared directly with any oral NSAID.