Keeps Aches Away With the Best Pain Relief Creams for 2021

Different types of pains including arthritis pain and injury pain can stand in the way of everyday minor tasks, especially in winters. To counter the pain and carry on with our lives, we can opt to use different gels, patches, sprays and pain relief creams too.

What Are Pain Relief Creams? Are They Any Good?

Pain relievers tend to include methyl salicylate (also known as wintergreen’s oil) that develops a cooling sensation upon application and thus acts as a counterirritant. What it does is distract the pain from the pain points.

Some products may have ingredients such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which decrease the inflammatory reaction once absorbed into the skin. A few other topical pain relievers contain capsaicin or menthol too.

While pain relievers do not provide relief for chronic pain, they perform well on acute musculoskeletal pain and can be used to treat arthritis, sprains, strains, pulled and sore muscles.

It is also important to note pain relievers should be used as they have been directed. Overuse and misuse of pain relievers can cause critical side effects in the long run.

The Best Pain Relief Creams in 2021 That You Should Not Overlook!

If you have been a victim of arthritis and other minor musculoskeletal pain, chances are you already are using or you are scouting for some sort of a pain relief cream. To provide you the relief of searching, we have narrowed the top 3 options that are invading the market at the moment!

1.     Penetrex Therapy Cream

Penetrex’s Therapy Cream has soothing ingredients such as arnica, which is a herb and is utilised in all sorts of pain relief creams. Moreover, the cream includes Vitamin B6 and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and CMO (Cetyl Myristoleate); some other renowned ingredients that come in most pain relief creams.

Based in California, Biomax made the cream commercially available after a chemist from Southern California developed it. The cream works directly on the area of pain, unlike supplements for pain relief.


  • Make use of proven and effective ingredients
  • Targets the root cause of the pain
  • Provides a quick and long-lasting relief
  • Helps in healing and repairing damaged tissues


  • Slightly expensive
  • Mild side effects are observed
  • Mixed reviews from different people

2.     Tiger Balm Extra Strength Sports Rub

For those on a budget, Tiger Balm Extra Strength Sports Rub is an effective counterirritant. By developing a cooling sensation with the help of camphor, mint oil and menthol; the balm distracts you from your pain and relieves the pain too.

However, it is helpful to note that ingredients in the balm such as petrolatum, clove oil and cassia oil can leave stains if spilled.


  • Provides an immediate cooling effect
  • A little balm can cover large parts


  • Contains potentially staining ingredients
  • The scent is rather strong

3.     Boiron Arnica Cream for Pain Relief

Available as both a gel and as a cream, Boiron Arnica Cream for Pain Relief takes a two-step approach for relieving your pain. Firstly, the arnica in the cream soothes the skin and calms the inflammation in the affected area. Secondly, it develops a cooling effect for distracting you from the pain.

While the cream provides a longer-lasting massage therapy, the gel is water-based and hence non-greasy and absorbs into the skin quickly too.


  • Perfect for oily skin with its non-greasy feels
  • Delivers a cooling effect for instant relief
  • Absorbs into the skin rapidly


  • The relief from pain is rather brief
  • Does not work effectively on severe pain

What Should You Consider When Looking for a Pain Relief Cream?

Not every cream will suit every individual, which is why it is necessary to understand the differences between the types of pain relief creams. Every cream is unique in some way or the other and the variances between them are necessary to understand.

Here are a few factors you should consider while buying a pain relief cream:


Fragrances can be a cause for irritation especially for those with sensitive skin. Moreover, if the fragrance does not appeal to you, there are very strong chances that you will not feel comfortable applying the cream overall.

The Type of Ingredients

With natural ingredients, you are at a far lesser risk of irritation especially if your skin is sensitive or if you have any sort of allergies. You can experience hot and cold sensations upon applying them and their anti-inflammatory properties can soothe your joints too, especially if they are sore.

Active ingredients may create a surface-level numbing effect but their overuse can cause other types of issues, such as skin irritation.

Package Design

By package design, we are not only referring to the aesthetic of the bottle or delivery system. In fact, using creams as roll-ons and arthritis-friendly pumps proves to be much more convenient rather than turning a bottle upside down and waiting for the cream to come sweeping out. The easier it is to use a cream, the more motivated you will feel in applying it on a regular basis.


One reason that creams stand out from gels and patches is the benefit of massaging. The act of rubbing the cream on your skin provides a soothing effect by stimulating your blood flow, thus improving your chances of recovering from the pain at a faster rate.

What Is The Best Cream If We Consider Overall?

As stated earlier in the article, every cream suits every individual in a different manner. There is no ‘one creams soothes all’ approach as even the best of the best can be useless for some individual or the other. Nevertheless, if there is one cream that we will recommend is Penetrex’s Therapy Cream, which we have placed first on our list too. The main reason is that it is suitable for sensitive skin too in addition to being non-greasy and non-staining. If you are going to spend money on pain relief, do it on Penetrex’s Therapy Cream!

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