Best Topical Rub for Pain 2022

Chronic joint pain affects almost one-quarter of people worldwide. Common joints affected include the knees, hands, elbows, shoulders, back and elsewhere. In most cases, this is caused by the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis. 
The issues surrounding the complexity of pain management have contributed to increased demand for alternative pain treatment option.  One such method is to increase the usage of topical pain relievers. In theory, this nonoral treatment has the advantage of local activity and fewer systemic side effects. 

How does topical pain relief work

Despite the fact that they are all meant to reduce pain, different products use different ingredients and have different ways of working.

Methyl salicylate is commonly found in over-the-counter topical pain relievers. When applied to the skin, they can create a minty scent and provides a cooling sensation.


Methyl salicylate is commonly used as a counterirritant, which essentially functions as a pain reliever. These rub-on treatments may also contain a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, depending on the product. NSAIDs include medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. It can reduce the inflammatory response when absorbed into the skin. However, I f you’re taking oral NSAIDS, you shouldn’t use topical NSAIDs.


Some topical pain medications also contain capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers that causes a warming sensation when applied to the skin.


Other products may contain menthol, often known as mint camphor, which has a cooling effect and can deceive the mind into thinking the skin or body temperature is lowering. The nerve endings become desensitized as a result of the cooling sensation. Menthol, like ice or cold packs, reduces arterial blood flow.


Arnica-containing topical products are another option. Arnica is a sunflower family herb whose flowers are used medicinally to treat stiffness and pain. When arnica cream or gel is applied, it promotes circulation and aids the body’s natural healing system, resulting in faster relief.

Best Topical Rub for Pain

1. Penetrex Joint and Muscle Therapy Cream

Muscle and Joint Relief Cream

– Penetrex Pain Relief Cream
– Intensive Concentrate for Relief & Recovery 

– Whole-Body Formula with Arnica, Vitamin B6 & MSM (DMSO2) 

– Penetrex is recommended for use on its own & is safe to use in conjunction with complementary therapies such as Heating Pads, Ice Packs, Back Massagers, Knee Braces and Supplements.
– Relief & Recovery for Joints & Muscles on your Back, Neck, Knee, Hand, Foot, and more. 
– Contains unique ingredients including Arnica, Glucosamine, MSM (DMSO2), Choline, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) & Vitamin B6 deep into the tissue to soothe affected areas.

– Vanishing scent / non-greasy / non-sticky / non-staining / paraben-free 

– Vegan and Cruelty-free (never tested on animals).

4.3 out of 5 – more than 70,400 global ratings

Penetrex Pain Relief Cream Reviews
 If I wake up with a sore back or neck, I rub this in and it instantly diminishes the pain at least 75 percent. I rubbed it into my hands and wrists and it helped my carpel tunnel at least 40- 50 percent. 

Yes. Several Arnica species contain an anti-inflammatory compound. This is believed to ease pain, stiffness, and bruises. It is generally given to the skin topically.

2. Dulàc Natural Arnica Gel Cream Extra Strength

Sponsored Ad - Dulàc Natural Arnica Gel Cream Extra Strength 1.7 Fl Oz with 35% Organic Arnica Montana - Bruise, Joint and...

The very high concentration of Arnica montana extracts (35%) makes our Arnica gel cream ideal for massages dedicated to bruise, swelling and discomfort in muscles and joints. Enriched with essential oils of mint and eucalyptus, which refresh the area for a long time giving topical relief. atural formula, suitable even for the most sensitive skin of babies. Salve without parabens, without mineral oils, without silicones

– Made in Italy. 

– Dermatologically tested and have a natural formulation

– Best for muscle pain relief

– Perfect for insect bites | Goodbye itching!

4.5 out of 5 – more than 3,500 global ratings
Dulac Natural Arnica Gel Cream Reviews
Like most arnica preparations, this product works on muscle pain. I have arm pain form taking statins. The pain melts away with arnica, and I love an expensive spray I found. that lasts about four hours. That one is convenient, but this one lasts longer. Although it claims to be a gel, it is a cream and scented with peppermint. But the fragrance doesn’t linger.

3. Topricin Pain Relief Therapy Cream

Topricin is moisturizing, non-irritating, odorless and non-staining. It supports the body’s natural processes that work to Heal the Cells Causing the Pain. Topricin has 22-years of history in the medical community and is used by hundreds of thousands all over the world.
Topricin contains 11-natural biomedicines delivering reliable pain relief, improving quality-of-life, and providing a strong adjunct to professional care with no side effects and won’t interfere with other medications
The safest alternative for people who cannot tolerate prescription and non-prescription OTC oral pain medication. It stimulates and supports your body’s desire to “”Heal the Cells that are Causing the Pain””. Topricin is safe effective and ideal treatment for the entire family and for all skin types.
– Topricin Pain Relief Cream
– Best cream for muscle knots
4.4 out of 5 – more than 4,800 global ratings
Topricin Pain Relief Therapy Reviews
It works wonders on the muscle knots in my shoulders.

4. Aspercreme Maximum Strength Pain Relief Cream with Aloe

Maximum strength Aspercreme is a topical pain relief cream. Trolamine salicylate 10% is the active ingredient, a topical analgesic. Trolamine is applied to where you need it, providing targeted therapy. Rub directly onto the affected area, such as your back or knee.

Aspercreme does not include aspirin. Aspirin is a salicylate, closely related to trolamine salicylate, the active ingredient in Aspercreme. If you are allergic to aspirin, consult your doctor before using Aspercreme.

– Best pain relief cream for tendonitis

4.5 out of 5 – more than 4,900 global ratings
Aspercreme Max Strength Pain Topical Rub for Pain Reviews

Trolamine salicylate is a topical pain reliever available over-the-counter (OTC) for minor muscular and joint discomfort.


Is trolamine salicylate the same as aspirin?

No. They are not the same and Aspercreme does not contain aspirin. Aspirin is a salicylate, closely related to trolamine salicylate. If you are allergic to aspirin, consult your doctor before using product contain trolamine salicylate.

5. Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for Topical Arthritis Pain Relief

Voltaren arthritis pain gel cream contains diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Diclofenac works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation. 

While most topical arthritis pain relief products heat or cool the surface of the skin, Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel treats the pain. The Voltaren emulgel formula, which combines a cream and a gel, penetrates deep through the skin to deliver powerful arthritis pain relief. When applied to the skin it creates a cooling and moisturizing effect. That’s the Voltaren difference – topical arthritis pain relief when and where you need it.

– No Prescription Needed | Topical anti inflammatory cream over the counter

– Best anti inflammatory gel

4.5 out of 5 – more than 36,500 global ratings
Voltaren arthritis pain gel Reviews:
Love it I have lowback arthritis..and I was in pain due to I’m a healthcare worker . I put this on and it relief my pain . Felt brand new the next day. Good to have. Love it

Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Often called as NSAIDs, it is contain a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent and are designed to be applied directly to the skin overlying a painful joint or area of bone. They are used to relieve pain and to treat symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation, swelling, and stiffness. (Source)

Topical NSAIDs are less likely than oral NSAIDs to cause gastrointestinal side effects or to interact with other medications, although elderly people may be more susceptible to these effects. Short-lived, mild redness at the site of application is the most commonly reported side effect. (Source)

6. CareAll Muscle & Joint Vanishing Scent Gel

Contains Active Ingredient: Menthol 2.5%. Temporary relief from the minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with backache, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains.

– Fast Acting: This Non-Greasy Pain-Relieving Cream is easily absorbed by the skin and formulated to provide quick relief.

– Deep penetrating: This cream penetrates deeply to aid with pain associated with backache, arthritis, strains, bruises, and sprains.

– Best muscle pain relief cream

4.6 out of 5 – more than 100 global ratings
CareAll Muscle and Joint Vanishing Scent Gel Reviews

7. Bengay Ultra Strength Topical Pain Relief Cream

4-ounce tube of non-greasy Bengay Ultra Strength Topical Pain Relief Cream to ease backaches, minor arthritis, muscle, and joint pain. Topical analgesic contains three pain-relieving ingredients—camphor, menthol, and methyl salicylate, for ultra-strong relief in a non-greasy cream. Bengay is a physician-recommended OTC topical analgesic. Contains more pain-relieving ingredients than any other Bengay product.

– Non Greasy

– Relieves the minor aches and pains of muscles and joints | Best pain relief cream for joint pain.

4.5 out of 5 – more than 8,900 global ratings
Bengay Ultra Strength Pain Relief Cream Reviews


– Stay at a healthy weight. Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. Each pound you gain adds nearly four pounds of stress on your knees and puts six times the pressure on your hips.
– Control your blood sugar. High blood sugar can stiffen the tissue that supports your joints and make them more sensitive to stress.
– Exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week helps joints stay limber and strengthens the muscles that support your knees and hips. Focus on low-impact exercises like walking, cycling or swimming.
– Stretch. Gentle stretching can improve your range of motion and keep your joints limber. Try to work in simple stretches into every day.
– Avoid injury. An injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis than one that was never injured. Wear protective gear when playing sports and always lift with your knees and hips, not your back. 
– Quit smoking. Smoking puts stress on tissues that protect your joints and can lead to arthritis pain. Learn how Blue Cross can help you quit.
– Eat fish twice a week. Eat fish high in Omega-3s, like salmon, trout and mackerel. Omega-3s have many health benefits and may reduce inflammation.
– Get routine preventive care. Your doctor may be able to suggest lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk or slow the progress of arthritis.
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. 
Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isn’t always attributable to one incident. It’s most often the result of several causes or conditions.
Step 1 in dealing with a chronic knee pain is to know the cause or ‘diagnosis’, a term used by medical doctors. Treatment is step 2. This may appear logical but many people jump into various kind of treatments without even knowing the cause of the knee pain. Thus, wasting their hard-earned money in none effective treatments.

Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:
  • osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation, and joint destruction caused by degeneration and deterioration of the joint
  • tendinitis: pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
  • bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or injury of the knee
  • chondromalacia patella: damaged cartilage under the knee cap
  • gout: arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid
  • Baker’s cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid (fluid that lubricates the joint) behind the knee
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion
  • dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most often the result of trauma
  • meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee
  • torn ligament: tear in one of the four ligaments in the knee — the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • bone tumors: osteosarcoma (second most prevalent bone cancer), most commonly occurs in the knee
As you can see from the above, there are many causes of knee pain. That’s why you need to understand the importance of ‘diagnosis’ or finding the cause of the knee pain. Knee pain due to gout or rheumatoid arthritis has to be treated differently from knee osteoarthritis. A mis-diagnosis will lead to a mis-treatment.
– Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation. Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.
There’s a standardized research tool that’s updated regularly that allows anybody to see if they’re eating foods we know cause chronic inflammation. This is called the The Dietary Inflammatory Index or DII. The choices of pro-inflammatory foods were initially based on studies showing that certain foods like trans-fatty acids (unsaturated fats) caused a spike in serum inflammatory markers in people.
– Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a diet that aims to reduce inflammation, pain, and other symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis (pubmed).

Many people who have followed the AIP diet report improvements in the way they feel, as well as reductions in common symptoms of autoimmune disorders, such as fatigue and gut or joint pain. Yet, while research on this diet is promising, it’s also limited.

The AIP diet is an elimination diet designed to help reduce inflammation or other symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders.

It’s comprised of two phases designed to help you identify and ultimately avoid the foods that may trigger inflammation and disease-specific symptoms. Research on its efficacy is limited but appears promising.

Due to its limited downsides, people with autoimmune disorders generally have little to lose by giving it a try. However, it’s likely best to seek guidance from a qualified health professional to ensure you continue to meet your nutrient needs throughout all phases of this diet.