Back Pain Creams

Back Pain CreamsCan we get a few more choices of back pain creams, please?  Of course, I’m kidding.  There’s plenty to choose from but many of us just stare at the drug store shelves wondering what is the difference.  So I thought an overview of how these creams differ might help you find the one that’s right for you.

Such is life with these types of back pain relief treatments, what works for one may not work for everyone.  So keep trying if at first you don’t succeed.  And please don’t be fooled into thinking these products are safe for everybody just because they’re sold right off the shelf.  It’s best to read the package warnings and check with your healthcare provider as needed.

Back Pain Creams Comparison

Brand Name(s) Category/Active Ingredients Best Uses Important Notes
Aspercreme, BenGay Contains the same pain-relieving ingredient as aspirin called salicylates. Simple backaches, arthritis pain and muscle strains. Do not ever use these right before or after the area has been subject to water (shower, soaking, etc).
Blue Emu Glucosamine,  Methylsulfonylmethane (aka MSM) and Emu oil. Joint and muscle pain. All-natural.  MSM can be used to treat many other conditions as well.
IcyHot, BioFreeze Known as counterirritants and contain menthol and/or camphor. Deeper muscle, joint and tendon pain. Reduce non-surface inflammation. Causes a hot and/or cold sensation that  distracts from the pain.
Arnica Gel All natural derived from a flower. Muscle pain and stiffness as well as arthritis. May need to purchase at a health food store.
Capzasin Capsaicin – it’s what makes chili peppers spicy. Block nerve impluses and muscle soreness. You can make your own with 2T cayenne pepper and 1/2c olive oil.  Rub in, then rinse excess off.
Australian Dream Like Blue Emu but also contains histamine dihydrochloride. Increases blood flow for arthritis and muscle pain relief. The Emu oil is taken from the fat of the ostrich-like bird.

As for the many generic brands on the market as well, they should work the same as the brand names based on the active ingredients.  In my experience from one patient to another, these creams work best when used immediately after a flare-up or injury occurs in most cases.  I am partial to Aspercreme and went though a period of time where I was using it daily.  It did definitely provide relief initially but after the first few weeks, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  When I stopped for a while and tried again, it worked.

I hope you find this information helpful.  Please drop in a comment related to your experience with (or any other thoughts about) pain relieving creams.

Thanks for visiting,


8 Responses

  1. Josh
    Josh June 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm | | Reply

    This is useful information for me as I work a physical job for 10 hours a day stacking boxes and a sore back is par for the course. Thanks for the info

  2. Elliot K
    Elliot K June 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm | | Reply

    Thanks very much for this helpful information Denise :) I suffer from back pain the odd time but it seems to come and go just.

  3. Judy
    Judy June 13, 2014 at 2:58 am | | Reply

    This is really good information. I have back pain too as a lot of people do. I also work in a pharmacy and people are asking all the time what is best to use. I can’t recommend anything because I’m only the cashier and have to refer them to the pharmacist, but it’s still good to know. I could send them to your web site. Good post.

  4. Lacy
    Lacy July 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm | | Reply

    Good information to know. I like the My Picks layout.

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