Best Muscle & Pain Relief Products

When you’re in pain, it can be frustrating when the products you have on hand just don’t work to ease your symptoms. Whatever your problem area, there are plenty of products on the market - from tablets and machines that promise back pain relief to creams that provide relief for gout - that can help you live the life you want to live. Continue reading...

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Based on 1,109 reviews
Crampeze

Crampeze

4.8  (89) Summary
don't have one
don't have one2 posts
  Fair Incentive Forte
Best on the marketUsed the Last year in Australian National Police Football Championship and not one of my blokes came down with Cramp Show details
Fisiocrem Solugel

Fisiocrem Solugel

4.7  (98) Summary
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Rose
Rose
 
Doesntnworke for meI purchased this product after reading thr reviews. It has done absolutely nothing for my knee osteoarthritis. Moneybwasted again. Show details
Elmore Oil

Elmore Oil

4.9  (37) Summary
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JulieM
JulieM6 posts
 
Naprogesic

Naprogesic

4.9  (24) Summary
clara
claraNSW7 posts
 
Panamax

Panamax

4.0  (56) Summary
Liana Z.
Liana Z.
 
ExcellentI have starting using Panamax and I find it really works for me it relaxes my all body and also helps me with my pains that I have and helps me to sleep at night very happy with Panamax Show details
Nurofen

Nurofen

4.1  (38) Summary
Pete Watson
Pete WatsonNSW
  Fair Incentive Tablets
Osmo Patch

Osmo Patch

3.5  (120) Summary
Deirdre L.
Deirdre L.
 
Stiff Sore and Sorry

Stiff Sore and Sorry

4.7  (19) Summary
Sharon
SharonNSW2 posts
 
Always keep one on the bedside tableI've always had leg cramps, especially in the middle of the night. Rubbing this lotion on my leg as the cramp begins, it stops immediately. Not a minute, not 30 seconds, immediately. I always have some by the bedside table just in case, but it soothes sore muscles at other times when I've overdone it. Grest product. Show details
Zen Herbal Liniment

Zen Herbal Liniment

4.5  (19) Summary
  • Price (RRP) $16.50 to $28.20
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Peter
Peter11 posts
  Spray
Mersyndol Day Strength

Mersyndol Day Strength

4.7  (16) Summary
Sukellesu
SukellesuNSW17 posts
 
Nurofen Zavance

Nurofen Zavance

4.0  (26) Summary
js01
js01NSW3 posts
  Caplets
Great for when you have a headache or a hangoverFast and effective pain relief when your head is throbbing Show details
Recoverthol

Recoverthol

5.0  (11) Summary
Steph B 71
Steph B 714 posts
 
Herron Gold Paracetamol

Herron Gold Paracetamol

4.3  (16) Summary
Pete
PeteSA2 posts
 
Heron GoldBest panodol ever but chemist's and supermarkets don't stock it anymore why is that Show details
Aldi TENS Machines

Aldi TENS Machines

3.7  (20) Summary
$39.99RRP
Brian W.
Brian W.
  Wellness Plus 3-in-1 TENS/EMS Machine
Waste of MoneyBrought in 2023 used 5 times now wont turn on . Have replaced batteries still no turn on. Show details
Panadol Osteo

Panadol Osteo

3.0  (44) Summary
Margaret W.
Margaret W.Tasmania
 
Might as well eat LifesaversI have severe low lumbar back pain and this medication does nothing to alleviate it Show details
Advil

Advil

4.6  (9) Summary
Clint
ClintNSW2 posts
  Capsules
Amazing for muscle sorenessThis product has been amazing for stiff sore muscles, I have issues with my shoulders which eventuate to headaches. This has helped significantly and I recommend especially for gym goers. Show details
Pain Erazor Pro

Pain Erazor Pro

2.6  (63) Summary
Teri K.
Teri K.QLD
 
Absolute rubbishMay as well buy snake oil for all the good this piece of junk is. We were given this by our auntie and she had no relief. The best thing you can do is throw it in the bin. If I could give no stars, I would. Show details
Voltaren Rapid 25

Voltaren Rapid 25

4.5  (8) Summary
Gay W
Gay WNSW18 posts
 
Works brilliantly. Can't do without itBrilliant! Works a lot better than panadol or Nurofen. Works quickly and reduces pain by at least 75%. I can't do without it. It definitely gets you back on your feet again. Show details
Painmate Tens Machine

Painmate Tens Machine

2.7  (46) Summary
Tina.W
Tina.W
 
Waste of moneyThe electrical pulses are very weak, you can hardly feel anything even at max level. Feels more like an annoying dull vibrating feeling. Dissatisfied and disappointed Show details
Dr Ho's Pain Therapy System

Dr Ho's Pain Therapy System

3.3  (15) Summary
Ummah
Ummah
 
Voltaren Emulgel

Voltaren Emulgel

2.7  (28) Summary
C.O
C.OQueensland21 posts
 
Deep Heat

Deep Heat

2.3  (96) Summary
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Grant W
Grant W6 posts
 
No heatNo heat at all. Thought I'd put patch on wrong but no heat at all. What a waste of money Show details
Dencorub Extra Strength Heat Gel

Dencorub Extra Strength Heat Gel

2.5  (40) Summary
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DDD
DDDVIC
 
Literally burnsBurnt like hell, masked the pain by causing more pain. Dropped some on the door of the dishwasher without realising, a day later noticed I had dropped some went to wipe it off and it had literally burnt and melted the plastic door surface of my dishwasher!! Explains why it burnt my skin so bad.. Show details
Revitive Ultrasound

Revitive Ultrasound

4.0  (8) Summary
Jessie O. L.
Jessie O. L.
 
This is amazing and it’s my “addiction” in healthy way!!As a chronic pain sufferer you must have this. The warranty is amazing, so extensive and I got an replacement within 2 days. Incredible buy! Must have! Show details ·  1
Virbac Rapigel

Virbac Rapigel

5.0  (5) Summary
Sherrin Sutcliffe
Sherrin Sutcliffe2 posts
 
MiracleI have had multiple farm injuries, broken bones etc., following 25 years running our vineyard. No more need for ibuprofen or other gels and so-called pain relief on joints. At 72 I still enjoy running the farm and vineyard, many long hours in a tractor and manual labour. It's supposed to be strictly for horses and dogs, it works on humans as well. Show details
Kookie
KookieNSW2 posts
 
Great pain reliefI have been using this product for a number of years now for the relief of arthritis in my hand, it gives almost immediate pain relief and I use it twice every day, night and morning. I have recommended this to a number of my friends who have bought it and get the same results as myself. Show details ·  1
Nurofen Cold and Flu

Nurofen Cold and Flu

4.2  (6) Summary
Bruce
BruceWA
 
No comparison with AdvilI was using Advil for sore throat, I ran out and only found that product on service station as I’m driving on a long trip, terrible experience, I compared timing of relief, and realised there’s no relief at all using that nurofen.
I can’t sleep, writing that review, what a day :/ Show details
Panadol Rapid

Panadol Rapid

2.7  (15) Summary
Annoyed
Annoyed
 
Hard to removeCaplets extreemly difficult to remove from internal foil type packaging.very annoying for someone already in pain Show details
Queenie
Queenie4 posts
 
Herron Blue Ibuprofen

Herron Blue Ibuprofen

4.0  (5) Summary
marion
marionQLD22 posts
 
Easy to identifyNow that chemist no longer carry much choice for pain relief, l have discovered Herron lbuprophen and Paracetamol. The tiny writing on the label is not good, but the colour of the lid is great. No more foil cards to sort through. Just a blue or gold lid the choose from. Excellent packaging for small spaces - like travelling.

Managing different types of pain

Most people will use a pain medicine (analgesic) at some point in their lives. For many people, it can be hard to find products that work for their pain. It also happens that one product usually isn’t the be all and end all for pain relief - sometimes you’ll have to use a combination of a few different products and lifestyle habits to feel any kind of difference. When products claim to free you of all your pain, take these words with a grain of salt - you’ll likely end up disappointed when it doesn’t perform miracles for you.

Mature age woman sitting on bed holding her back in pain

A good starting point is to be able to describe the type of pain you’re feeling, so that you can be clear when talking with a doctor, pharmacist or health professional, leaving you with better chances in finding the most effective treatment for you.

Pain is most commonly grouped into two main types - acute and chronic.

  • Acute pain: Acute pain is short-term pain that starts suddenly, is usually short-lived, and often has a specific cause, such as an injury.
  • Chronic pain: Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months. It often has to be managed by things other than medicine to keep under control. It can be associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. Injuries can also result in chronic pain.

These two main pain types can be further classified into 3 subtypes.

  • Nociceptive pain is caused when the body’s tissue is injured - this includes damage to bone or muscle, such as cuts, fractures, bruises, burns, inflammation (from an infection or arthritic disorder), cancer and surgery. Nociceptive pain reduces once the injury heals, and is the most common type of pain people experience.
  • Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the nerves, brain or spinal cord. If you’re feeling a burning, tingling, or stabbing sensation, then you’re likely experiencing neuropathic pain. It can often last a long period of time, even after an injury has healed. Examples include headaches and migraines.
  • Psychogenic pain is more psychological in nature. It usually happens as a result of tissue or nerve damage, but is heightened and prolonged because of stress, fear, anxiety or depression.

Types of muscle and pain relief products

Tablets and pills

Over-the-counter pain medication

Over-the-counter medication is used for short-term, mild to moderate pain, and is a relatively inexpensive way to treat some forms of pain. Some examples of pain relief medicine that can be bought without a prescription include paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin. They usually come in the form of tablets or capsules.

Paracetamol (such as Panadol and Panamax can be helpful for mild to moderate pain. It’s suitable for most people and can provide relief for headaches, period pain, and sometimes lower back pain relief. When taking paracetamol, ensure that any other medication you’re taking doesn’t contain the same active ingredient, as taking it in larger doses can cause liver damage.

Aspirin is used for short-term pain relief of fever and mild to moderate pain, including to relieve tension headaches and period pain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the most common of which is ibuprofen (commonly sold as Brufen, Nurofen or Advil, relieve pain and reduce redness and swelling. For people experiencing gout, ibuprofen or naproxen can sometimes provide immediate gout pain relief, however aspirins and other medications that contain acetylsalicylic acid could make your discomfort worse.

Just because a medicine is available to buy without a prescription, doesn’t mean that it can’t cause side effects. While over-the-counter pain relief tablets aren’t the strongest pain killers you can find, it is possible to take too much. Seek medical advice if you’re unsure if a medication is safe for you or not, or if over-the-counter medications aren’t helping to relieve your pain.

Vitamins and supplements

There are also different vitamins and supplements that can help target different types of pain, however it’s best to consult your doctor before taking them, as some vitamins can interfere with other medicines you may be taking.

Here are a few supplements that are commonly used to treat symptoms for pain.

  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption and is considered an anti-inflammatory, making it popular for muscle pain relief.
  • Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 helps the body in protecting nerves, helping prevent injuries and ease nerve pain.
  • Vitamin C: Some studies have shown that Vitamin C can help protect against gout flares.
  • Glucosamine: Glucosamine protects your cells and can slow cartilage deterioration in the joints, making it popular for people with arthritis. If you have diabetes and are considering taking it, see your doctor first.

Creams and gels

There are plenty of pain relievers on the market that come in cream or gel form. They’re usually applied to treat inflammation and sore muscles. Pain relief cream can be a good option for people with arthritis or who experience pain as a result of sports and exercise.

Liquids

Pain relief liquids work in a similar way to creams and gels - they’re rubbed onto the affected area and can provide short-term relief, particularly for muscle aches and pains. They can also provide relief for pain in the lower back, relief for joint pain, and to ease pain in your shoulders. They can also be used in conjunction with some personal massagers, and are sometimes offered as a pain relief spray, making them even easier to apply.

Certain oils can be a natural pain relief for some people, for example hemp oil is used by some to reduce inflammation, while CBD oil is increasingly used to treat chronic pain.

Patches

Pain and muscle relief patches are applied to the pain area and can usually be left on for at least a few hours at a time, sometimes multiple times daily. They can provide effective support for reducing swelling, inflammation, carpal tunnel relief, or any pain associated with bursitis and tendonitis.

Some pain relief patches are simply heat packs or patches, providing instant pain relief for a few different types of pain, particularly painful joints and muscles, and period pain. If you find that heat helps your pain, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a heating product - sometimes, a steamy bath or a hot water bottle held against your pain point will do.

TENS machines

TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices are used as pain relief for people experiencing chronic pain or for women in labour. They work by reducing the pain signal in your nerves and essentially distracting your brain, making them more appropriate for persistent pain. They're usually attached to the skin with an adhesive patch, and while they’re safe for most people to use, the electrical stimulation may cause a tingling or prickling sensation which may make some people uncomfortable.

They usually range from $45 to $210, although there some TENS machines can cost several thousand dollars. The large price discrepancy is because different TENS machines have varying features and capabilities.

TENS devices and other muscle & pain relief machines have received mixed reviews - some people love them, some say they do nothing. Look out for deals that guarantee your money back if it doesn’t work for you, especially if you’re considering forking out quite a bit of money for one.

Pens

There are many different pain relief pens on the market, most of which are marketed as being easy to use, non-invasive ways of relieving pain. They work by creating pulses against the skin where you feel discomfort, and are usually used for joint, back and neck pain relief.

Suppositories

Suppositories are solid medications - often oval or cone-shaped - that are inserted into the body through a cavity, most commonly in the rectum, vagina or urethra. A water soluble casing covers the medication, so that once it’s inside the body the suppository dissolves and the drug is released. Some common pain medications are offered as suppositories - such as Panadol suppositories.

They’re usually used when people cannot take medicines orally (such as when they’re having seizures), are unable to swallow medication, are vomiting, or are experiencing blockages that stop the medicine going through the digestive system.

Remember, it’s important to practice good hygiene when taking suppositories - wash your hands thoroughly before and after insertion.

Other types of muscle and pain relief products

Massagers

Personal massagers come in a whole range of shapes of sizes - from small handheld devices to large massage chairs. They can sometimes be a good source of short-term muscle or joint pain relief and to relieve pain instantly, but because they’re also often used and designed for general pleasure and comfort and not just for aching muscles, they have varying degrees of success.

When shopping around for a personal massager, it’s good to consider how easy they are to use. It may be a good idea to find one that you can use by yourself so that you can use it whenever you need to without having to wait for someone to help you.

Foam rollers

Foam rollers are used to roll out tight joints and muscles. They can be an effective back or knee pain treatment, and have the added benefit of increasing your range of motion with regular use. Be wary of applying too much pressure onto stiff areas - you could increase the risk of bruising or damaging muscle tissue.

Woman using foam roller against her neck

Back braces and belts

Braces and belts can also help with pain, and are mostly used for back and shoulder pain relief. They take pressure off your back by forcing you to improve your posture, and for this reason they’re also used to relieve pain associated with spinal fractures or conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Choosing the right pain medication for you

The right choice of medicine will depend on a variety of factors. Some of these are:

  • The type, location, severity and length of pain.
  • Any activities or things you do that relieve pain or intensify it.
  • How your pain affects your life - such as your quality of sleep and your appetite.
  • Any other medical conditions you have.
  • Other medication you take.

Discuss these things with your doctor, so that they can prescribe you or provide you with pointers on an effective method of pain management or relief for you.

Other ways to relieve pain

Physical activity

Exercise can be a simple way to stave off neck, back and muscle pains. If moving your body isn’t possible, then try simple stretches recommended by your doctor or physiotherapist - either by yourself or with the aid of someone else. This can not only help relieve pain, but strengthening your muscles can act as a preventative measure for future injuries.

Physical therapy

In a lot of cases, people who have lower back pain and who don’t have other health conditions respond well to physiotherapy and implementing certain exercises and stretches in their daily routine.

Wrapping up

It’s understandable to feel disheartened when you try product after product and nothing seems to relieve your pain. Some people find success in healthy lifestyle changes or holistic therapies, while some find that medication most effectively treats their pain. There’s often a lot of trial and error involved in finding the right muscle or pain reliever that helps you live your life to the fullest, particularly for those experiencing chronic pain. The good news is that there are plenty of products out there that could help you, and plenty more to come.

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