What is the Best Muscle Rub in 2019?

We’ve all had those days when our legs or arms feel like dead weights and the pain is unbearable. It may have been a more strenuous workout at the gym, a particularly challenging run or bike ride or maybe just the stresses of everyday life. As we get older we feel this pain more and need quick relief and something that heals the inflammation.

Chronic pain is classified as pain that lasts 12 weeks or more and according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine more than 1.5 billion people around the world experience chronic pain. It’s the most common cause of long term disability in the US, affecting about 100 million Americans. Muscle rubs offer a quick and instant relief from this pain for many sufferers.

Want to know more about muscle rubs?

Often sold as pain relief creams or gels, these topical formulas are rubbed into the body to relieve the pain of overworked, strained or sprained muscles. Many creams or rubs work by drawing blood to the injured area while others provide a cooling sensation that eases the tenderness. Some creams even use a combination of both heat and cold to treat pain and attack its number one underlying cause: inflammation.

Let’s take a look at how the best muscle rub could help get rid of that pain and keep your muscles performing at their best. With so many different products available we have taken a look at some of the best muscle rubs available today.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Pain Relief Cream

Ultra Freeze

Pain Relief Cream

5 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

Click for price
  • IMMEDIATE, LONG-LASTING AND SOOTHING RELIEF: Dr. Pat's Original Formula is the preferred, topical pain relieving gel for...
  • 4.5 X MORE [9 OZ TUB]: Dr. Pat's original formula comes in a 9-ounce jar of effective, cooling pain relief. Others offer...
  • MADE IN USA: Each batch of Dr. Pat's Original Formula is made in the United States for guaranteed quality and consistency.
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category


Our #2 Rated
Sore Muscle Rub

Badger Air Brush

Sore Muscle Rub

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

Click for price
  • Cayenne Pepper and Ginger gently soothe sore muscles
  • Smells great and softens skin; definitely not your typical smelly sports rub! - Perfect for before and after exercise, or as...
  • Rich in powerful skin-nourishing antioxidants found in essential oils of Rosemary and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category


Our #3 Rated
Deep Blue Rub

doTERRA

Deep Blue Rub

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

Click for price
  • doTERRA Deep Blue Rub is a topical cream formulated with Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade...
  • Formulated with the Deep Blue proprietary blend of essential oils and other powerful ingredients
  • Perfect for the athlete in your life, Deep Blue Rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leaves your skin...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category


Our #4 Rated
Pain Relief Cream

Penetrex

Pain Relief Cream

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

Click for price
  • QUICK, STRONG & LONG-LASTING: Penetrex absorbs Quickly & Easily into affected areas and goes to work instantly. Apply...
  • BREAKTHROUGH FORMULATION: Utilizing a Revolutionary Delivery System, Penetrex delivers Clinically Proven Ingredients...
  • MILLIONS OF CLIENTS WORLDWIDE: Sufferers in over 100 countries have now discovered this Breakthrough Formulation. Just 2 or...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category


Our #5 Rated
Sport Rub

Tiger Balm

Sport Rub

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

Click for price
  • For temporary relief of minor aches and pains associated with: Joint and muscle strains, Backaches, Arthritis, Stiff muscles
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Muscle Rub category

How do Muscle Rubs Work?

As a child many of us were told to ‘rub it better’ by our parents when we felt any soreness. The physical action of rubbing a cream or gel muscle rub helps to warm the injured area and stimulate blood flow. This massaging into the muscles also allows the cream to sink into the skin more readily where it works to relieve pain, soothe any discomfort and speed up recovery.

Active ingredients interact with nerve endings to reduce the inflammation and stop the pain messages from going to the brain. The most effective natural ingredients tend to be glucosamine, chondroitin, celadrin, and many essential oils including menthol, eucalyptus and camphor. Some of these will act as a natural anti-inflammatory pain killer in the same way as aspirin.

Muscle rubs that act as a cooling agent will reduce inflammation and swelling due to overuse and injury and are more suited to acute injuries as they occur. Warming balms will create vasodilation which draws blood into the skin capillaries and creates a sensation of warmth. This warmth can be ideal for giving long term relief from chronic pain and degenerative diseases like arthritis.

Massaging sore muscles after a workout with a muscle rub is an effective way of relieving the pain of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as shown in the following Youtube video:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Muscle Rub

Although you may be using a muscle rub to avoid taking any further drugs, you should exercise the same care and caution as taking any other medication. Check with your doctor or a pharmacist before starting to use any type of pain relief for possible interactions or side effects. Follow these tips for a safer use of the best muscle rub.

Do’s:

Instructions

Always follow the instructions included on the packaging or on a separate sheet inside the box.

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands after applying the rub. This is especially important when using products that include powerful ingredients like capsaicin which will burn if you get it in your eyes or on more sensitive parts of the body.

Wash Your Clothes

Wash any clothes, or other items that may get the rub on them, with soap and water or a mild laundry detergent. Some muscle rubs will stain, or leave a greasy residue on certain fabrics.

Allergies

Always check for any allergies you may have or possible interactions of the ingredients of your muscle rub and other medications you’re already taking.

Irritation

If you notice any irritation to the skin or discomfort then DO stop using the product immediately.

Don’ts:

Application

Don’t apply the cream to broken skin or open wounds. Try to avoid using after a shower as your pores will be open. Most muscle rubs have powerful active ingredients which will sting on more sensitive, damaged or exposed areas of skin.

Other Medication

Avoid using muscle rubs if you’re on aspirin or blood thinners.

Blood Circulation

People with circulation problems or neuropathy shouldn’t use cold treatment muscle rubs.

Heat and Ice Pads

Don’t use a muscle rub at the same as using a heat pad or ice pad. Too much heat will burn and at the other end of the scale, too much cold can result in frostbite.

Frequency

Use in moderation. Many people have reported serious burns to the skin when using more powerful heat rubs.

The Best Muscle Rub

When looking for the best muscle rub to suit your needs, there are almost as many products as there are different muscle pains. We’ve looked at some of the top selling muscle rubs to bring you five, in our opinion, of the best muscle rubs of 2019.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Ultra Freeze

Pain Relief Cream

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This US-made pain relief gel uses menthol and a proprietary blend of ingredients to act as a cooling and analgesic agent for sore muscles. A fast absorbing non-greasy formula, this gel is the preferred choice of many sufferers of arthritis, sore or stiff muscles and joint aches and pains. The large 16-ounce jar ensures it doesn’t run out too quickly and it’s there when you need it most.

When you apply the gel you’ll feel instant cooling relief which will intensify over the next 10 minutes until it reaches the maximum level of freeze pain relief. This ultra-cold healing sensation then lasts for 30 minutes or longer. Many customers have reported this seriously helped with sciatica, neck and shoulder pain, ankle sprains, fibromyalgia and other muscle pains. The product even comes with a no-questions-asked money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with the gel.

Pros
Pro Non greasy original US-made formula.
Pro Quick absorbing.
Pro Uses menthol for analgesic and cooling sensation.
Pro Can remain ultra-cold for 30 minutes or more.
Pro Value for money in large 16-ounce jar
Pro much more than many similar products.
Pro 100 percent money back guarantee makes it a risk-free purchase.
Cons
Con Large size makes it difficult to accommodate in travel first aid kit
Con or smaller gym bag.
Con Better suited to acute injuries as it won’t stimulate the circulation.
Con Cold therapy is not recommended for people with circulation problems or diabetics who may not feel any nerve damage.
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Badger Air Brush

Sore Muscle Rub

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This sore muscle rub was originally developed to help with pain from Aikido that Badger Bill was suffering from, so the story goes. A natural organic formula, it uses capsaicin from cayenne pepper extract that blocks pain signals from reaching your brain. The rub also contains ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory, to attack the cause of the pain.

Skin nourishing antioxidants are provided by essential oils of rosemary and extra virgin olive oil used in this rub free of artificial ingredients, fragrances, dyes and parabens. If you’re looking for an all-natural product, you can’t go wrong. (Unfortunately the inclusion of beeswax makes it non-vegan friendly). The product smells great and softens the skin while reliving those aches and pains, not your typical smelly sports rub.

Pros
Pro All natural formula.
Pro Cayenne and ginger soothe away stress and sore muscles.
Pro Anti-inflammatory powers of ginger are strong.
Pro Essential oils soften the skin.
Pro Smells great and most customers who rave about the pleasant scent of this rub find it relaxing.
Pro Perfect for using before and after exercise—many arthritis sufferers rate this product over other products loaded with harsh chemicals for regular use.
Cons
Con Capsaicin can be an irritant to many people’s skin
Con so you should always do a patch test first.
Con Remember to wash your hands after use—you don’t want to be getting chilli in your eyes—and it can also
Con can stain clothing.
Con Heat may not last as long as similar products and it needs reapplying every couple of hours.
Con Takes about 15 minutes to start working.

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

doTERRA

Deep Blue Rub

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Deep Blue gel uses a blend of pure therapeutic grade essential oils with a proprietary blend of plant extracts and other powerful ingredients to provide a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem muscles. A base of moisturizing emollients leave your skin hydrated, soft and not greasy. As the name suggests, this gel will target the deep spots that many other creams/gels may have trouble reaching.

This product alleviates much muscle discomfort making it ideal for many people including athletes or anyone suffering from chronic pain. Many massage therapists and sports practitioners use Doterra’s Deep Blue proprietary blend in their practice as a go-to cooling or heat rub. You can even find sample packs available online to try and see if this product works for you. Imagine it as Icy Hot but with moisturizing essential oils.

Pros
Pro Targeted cooling relief cuts the amount of time suffering from sore muscles in half.
Pro When first applied it goes on cold
Pro but then warms and cools again before cooking away the pain.
Pro Natural oils have pleasant scent.
Pro A little drop of this formula works deep into the muscles for significant pain relief
Pro so you only need the smallest of amounts.
Pro No harsh chemicals that irritate the skin.
Pro Moisturizes skin with blend of essential oils—no greasiness.
Pro Convenient tube is easy to throw in a gym bag or store in your first aid kid
Pro and many parents have called this an essential purchase.
Cons
Con Expensive—a great product if you can afford it
Con but there are many cheaper alternatives on the market.
Con The scent can be overpowering.
Con Camphor and peppermint
Con two of the essential oils are classed as hot oils and shouldn’t be used if already hot or sweating.
Con Avoid use after a shower when pores are open
Con this will definitely burn.
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Penetrex

Pain Relief Cream

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This quality USA produced muscle cream is now sold in over 100 countries worldwide. The cream is good for a variety of conditions including muscle pain and soreness, arthritis or repetitive use injuries. Instead of just masking the pain with a heat or cooling effect, Penetrex addresses the root of the problem, inflammation, which is the cause of most muscle pain.

Highly effective ingredients of cetyl myristoleate (CMO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) combine to attack the cause of the inflammation and fortify the physiological cells to fight pain. Other clinically proven ingredients include Arnica, vitamin B6 and choline—over eight years of research have gone into this product still produced by the same chemist in Southern California. This pain cream is non-sticky, stain-free and guaranteed to be free of any steroids or drugs.

Pros
Pro Great for reducing inflammation
Pro the cause of most pain.
Pro Ideal for use on degenerative diseases which affect the joints like arthritis.
Pro Non-greasy
Pro non-staining and paraben-free.
Pro Scent vanishes very quickly.
Pro No reported side effects.
Pro Clinically proven ingredients including vitamin B6
Pro glucosamine and many more.
Cons
Con No temperature change so doesn’t give instant pain relief like other warming rubs.
Con Many customers have noticed a reduction in swelling and inflammation but commented it doesn’t work on all types of pain.
Con Expensive for just a 2-ounce container.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Tiger Balm

Sport Rub

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Most of us have experienced this magical ointment from the Far East at some time in our lives. Enriched with herbs and functional emollients extracted from cajput, clove, mint and cassia, this reddish consistency muscle rub is classed as extra strength. Ideal for use on abdominal cramps, spinal ache, sore muscles and joint inflammation, Tiger Balm has also been lab-tested as effective in treating severe migraines.

Always try to purchase a Tiger Balm that’s genuine and produced in Thailand—there are many fake and less potent formulas out there. This one only comes in a 3-ounce jar, but a little goes a long way. Simply rub gently into aching muscles for a warming relief, just maybe not before going out as it does have a strong odor.

Pros
Pro Herbal remedy that’s been tried and tested for thousands of years.
Pro Still one of the most effective sources of pain relief for sore muscles.
Pro Compact size is ideal for keeping in your gym bag (or travel kit) to ease any stiffness or muscle pain.
Pro Also effective in treatment of migraines.
Pro This formula is said to be extra strength.
 
Cons
Con The smell—this extra strength formula smells more of cinnamon but is still very strong
Con and best for use at night before going to sleep.
Con Some users find the ointment to be almost greasy on the skin
Con so it may not absorb as well as some of the more modern formulated creams and rubs.
Con Many customers find they’re allergic to Tiger Balm.
Con Plenty of fakes available—that cheap tub you see in the local drug store will invariably be a much weaker formula.

Our Choice

Any one of the muscle rubs or pain relief creams we’ve looked at could be effective for relieving the pain and swelling of muscle injuries or stiff joints. It all comes down to how much you want to spend, which is best for your type of pain and how discreet you want the cream to be.

For the value for money it offers in a larger 16-ounce size and suitability for effective treatment of many muscle and pain issues, Dr Pat’s Pain Relief Cream is in our opinion, the best muscle rub you can buy in 2019. Suffering from muscle pain no longer means you have to smell like a high school locker room.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend