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.
Crampeze Night Cramps · includes 2 listings
Crampeze Night Cramps uses magnesium to target inflammation and relieve muscle cramps and spasms, so you can wake up on the right side of the bed.
Relieves muscle cramps and spasms
Improves quality of sleep
- Value for Money4.7 (44)
- Ease of Use4.9 (45)
Using the soothing properties of eucalyptus oil and tea tree, Elmore oil is a hit with people experiencing muscle and joint aches and pains.
Relieves leg, back and knee pain
- Value for Money5.0 (3)
- Ease of Use5.0 (3)
- Prescription NeededNo
- Product TypeLiquid
- Targeted AreaInflammation and Joint Pain
Go about your life with ease with Fisiocrem Solugel, a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties that helps alleviate muscle pains.
Effective relief from different types of pain
Fast muscle and pain relief
Can cause itchiness
- Value for Money5.0 (5)
- Ease of Use5.0 (4)
- Prescription NeededNo
- Product TypeGel
- Targeted AreaGeneral Pain
Providing effective relief from a huge variety of health conditions - including muscle and joint pain, headaches, and colds and fevers - at a great price, Panamax sure packs a punch.
Treats different types of pain
Rapid pain relief
Great value for money
Slightly difficult to swallow
- Value for Money5.0 (6)
- Ease of Use4.3 (6)
- Prescription NeededNo
- Product TypeTablet/Pill
- Targeted AreaGeneral Pain and Headaches
Nurofen · includes 3 listings
With ibuprofen as its active ingredient, Nurofen treats all kinds of pain - making it a medicine cabinet staple.
Treats wide range of pain areas
Gentle on the stomach
- Value for Money1.0 (1)
- Ease of Use2.0 (2)
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.
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, (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 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.
If you’re in considerable pain, experiencing chronic pain or have any concerns about your health, you should see your doctor, physiotherapist or any relevant health professional.
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 .
Paracetamol (such as Panadol and 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, or , 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 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 or 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.
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 , 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.
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 . 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.
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.
There are many different 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.
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
Personal massagers come in a whole range of shapes of sizes - from small to large . 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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.