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Best Pain Relief Cream: Which is Right for You?

best pain relief creams 2018


For a huge portion of my life, I was super lucky. I suffered no form of chronic pain — not even migraines or sports injuries. But then I broke my wrist and two years later, suddenly pain creeps up in my everyday life. Turned the steering wheel wrong? Sharp pain. Opened the window with my left hand? OW!~ Not today. I, like many others, am cursed with what is called post-traumatic arthritis.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related diseases. Some of the most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. 1 in 2 adults in the U.S are affected by arthritis.

There’s no cure, but plenty of treatment options that help relieve symptoms so you can still live a normal life. Some may even slow the progression of joint damage.

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain in the body, but it’s followed by a long list of others. Topical pain cream can help ease the effects of acute injuries, like muscle pain from working out at the gym, or chronic injuries, like back pain or sciatica.

Pain cream can be a drug-free alternative to managing your pain. Here are some of our favorites.

hemp oil pain relief cream organic Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Never animal tested
  • Super organic - EU approved
  • Strong alternate to drugs
Price: $29.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
penetrex pain relief cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Does not stain clothing/not greasy
  • Cult favorite pain relief cream
  • More than just cooling/heating therapy
Price: $18.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
real time pain relief lotion max Amazon Customer Reviews
  • FDA-registered and OTC
  • No unpleasant residue or smell
  • Free of harsh chemicals
Price: $20.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
australian emu oil topical pain relief Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for burns/healing wounds too
  • Sourced from caring sustainable farms
  • Wonderful for sensitive skin
Price: $48.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
sombra warm therapy natural pain cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Best for sore muscles
  • Tried and true brand
  • FEEEEEEL the HEAT! (You will, I promise)
Price: $13.04 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Organic Hemp Pain Relief Cream by ZenRenu | MSM Turmeric Arnica, | Relieve Muscle, Joint & Arthritis Pain| Effective Hemp Oil Pain Cream | Fibromyalgia & Carpal Tunnel Relief

    • Completely organic with top ingredients
    • Some people do have immediate positive effects with long-term effectiveness
    • Approved to EU health standards
    • You probably won't recieve instant gratification here. This is not a drug. The body takes time to heal itself.
    • You have to be consistent. For breathtaking results, apply morning, noon and night. Be dilligent and you will be rewarded with no pain!
    • Don't buy this if you can't commit to at least 21 days of frequent use

    In a world that’s becoming more pot-friendly, Hemp and CBD products are popping up everywhere. There’s a reason for it… they work really well! This cream is my favorite because even though it’s made in the US, it doesn’t just adhere to USA health standards; it also adheres with the strictest European health standards. According to the EWG, there are over 1,000 regularly-used ingredients in many cosmetics sold in the United States that are banned in Europe!

    This organic and menthol free cream absorbs quickly and provides targeted pain relief to your back, knees, hips, neck, shoulders, elbows, and other joints and muscles. It works wonders for my wrist. It’s a tough match against carpal tunnel, but the hemp oil usually wins.

    The pain relief from hemp oil may not be immediate;  it can take up to 21 days of morning, noon and night use, but after it builds up in your body, you can be consistently pain-free. Monitor your body for changes diligently. You will notice a difference in pain.

    If not (for whatever reason), there’s always that 1-year worry-free guarantee to fall back on, no questions asked.

  2. 2. Penetrex Pain Relief Therapy [2 Oz]

    • You can throw out your pain pills
    • For most, works better than $100+ prescription pain creams
    • Read the reviews -- they are heartwarming. This product is a lifesaver for many people.
    • If you have large areas of pain, 2 ounces disappears quickly
    • There is the occasional "didn't work, too weak" review
    • Some people experience so much numbness it becomes mildly unpleasant

    I was skeptical of all the (nearly 24,000) positive reviews on this product because that screams “incentivized” to me. So I ran a scan of Penetrex on ReviewMeta.com. While it originally did come back as failing the “fake reviews” test, I dug a little deeper and found the cream has just been around for a while and has a dedicated user base. ReviewMeta categorized many reviews as fake for having repeated wording. Most reviews say something along the lines of “this is a great product!”.

    Join the cult favorite. Apply the Penetrex anywhere you experience pain, tingling, discomfort, or numbness.

    Here’s a list of some ingredients:

    ✓ Arnica
    ✓ Boswellia Serrata 
    ✓ Cetyl Myristoleate
    ✓ Choline
    ✓ Glucosamine 
    ✓ MSM (DMSO2)
    ✓ Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

    This cream is also safe to use with complementary therapies — think heating pads, ice packs, pain massagers, sciatica cushions, fibromyalgia supplements, etc.

    • Penetrix doesn’t just mask the pain with cooling or warming ingredients found in less-effective and outdated formulas. Instead, it focuses on the root cause of pain (inflammation). With over 8 years of formula research and development, two million pain-free users in 100 countries and a 100% money back guarantee, this one is a no-brainer. Formulated and filled in California.

    Here’s a newer video from 2018 still preaching the benefits of Penetrex.

  3. 3. Real Time Pain Relief Maxx, 4 Ounce Tube

    • Free of Harsh Chemicals: GMOs, Dyes, SLS, Parabens, and Artificial Colors
    • Maxx is the strongest formula
    • Blend of nature's pain relief ingredients
    • Some prefer the regular strength - it's also less expensive
    • Some people have reported that they think their bottles are less potent
    • "Not a miracle, but it helps somewhat"

    Become one of the many who trusts Real Time Pain Relief Maxx to heal their pain, if only temporarily. This fast-absorbing formula smells great and leaves no greasy feeling or unpleasant residue on skin/clothing, so it’s especially great for arthritic hands. The high-quality proprietary blend includes known and natural pain relief elements: emu oil, willow bark, capsaicin, aloe vera, and arnica are just a few of the 18 ingredients.

    Receive targeted and pain-crushing relief within minutes. This cream is formulated for both acute and chronic pain, including back aches, deep muscle pains, bruises, sprains, cramps, and over 150 types of arthritis.

    What’s cool about this is that while it delivers pain relief, it also triggers your body’s own pain-relieving mechanisms (did anyone catch that mention of capsaicin? That comes from capsicum — what we call hot chili pepper.)

  4. 4. 100% Pure Emu Oil: Australian Emu Oil Lotion

    • G&M's emu oil is only purchased from sustainable emu farms in Australia who sell it as a byproduct of their primary business.
    • "Better than any American product I've ever used"
    • Also a fantastic moisturizer - even for face
    • Just like cows and chickens in America, emus are raised by farmers as livestock for meat and byproducts. This oil uses part of the emu that would otherwise be discarded. Just make sure you are purchasing from a humane brand.
    • Some shipment packing issues
    • It comes from an emu

    Stay with me here. Yes, it’s Emu like the bird. Emu oil is derived from adipose tissue (fat) harvested from certain subspecies of the emu, a flightless bird indigenous to Australia.

    Don’t worry, it’s refined and refined again. This one smells like lemons, but it still harnesses all of the health benefits. Emu oil works better than most products because it is made up of small particles — much smaller than other creams. Their minute size allows them to carry many healthy compounds deep into your skin.

    You can read everything you need to know about emu oil in this article from Medical News Today.

    Organizations such as the American Emu Association aim to ensure that all emu oil is pure and that the emus enjoyed the best possible lives. Since most emu oil is made in Australia, much of it is sustainably sourced. Emus are bred for meat in Australia and other countries, similar to how the US breeds cows and chickens. The adipose tissue used to make the oil is a byproduct that would otherwise be discarded. Using the most of an animal is the most humane way to appreciate it.

    Emu oil has been used for over 40,000 years for pain relief, as a skin protectant, and to help wounds heal quicker. It’s still used today for the same reasons.

    Now that you know what emu oil is, I chose this Australian Cream because the brand doesn’t test on animals, it’s sourced humanely, it’s organic, fragrance-free, and there are no parabens or mineral oil. Instead, the carrier oil used is Sunflower oil, which is high in Vitamin E, which makes this amazing for your skin, too.

    Somehow, this Australian emu cream isn’t even greasy. It has to be magic.

  5. 5. Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel- Great Smelling Quick Absorption Formula for Pain Relief (4oz Jar)

    • Quick absorption, extremely effective, does not stain clothes
    • Pleasant and controlled warming for sore muscles
    • Container can last a while and price point is already low
    • May not be strong enough for some people
    • Make damn sure you wash your hands after applying this -- and even then, keep your hands away from your eyes for a while. It contains capsaicin, which is cayenne pepper, which is NOT something you want on your face or near your eyes. Consider yourself warned! But man your muscles will LOVE it.
    • Has a warm-cool feel like IcyHot. If you don't like that, you may not like this

    Topical analgesics are one of the most popular topical pain relief routes, and Sombra is at the top (ha) of that list. It’s meant for chronic conditions, aches, and pains. This pain cream provides ease from all kinds of arthritis, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, backaches, pain from broken bones or sprained muscles, carpal tunnel and much more. It has an orange-citrusy aroma to it that absorbs quickly and many people say it’s better than anything they’ve tried before.


See Also:

Choosing a Light Therapy Box: Your Easy Buying Guide (2019)

10 Best DNA Test Kits: Which is Right For You? (2019)