We spent more than 110 hours to evaluate various pain relief gel and placed five of them in testing and we think that the Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel, Enhanced Relief of Arthritis, Muscle, Joint, & Back Pain, NSAID Free Pain Reliever Cream for Sore Muscles, 4 oz. Tube, Original Green Formula, 5% Menthol can give the relief, cooling and relaxation you need. Delivering a strong 5% active ingredient, it pounds fast on the sore area, and its effects stay long enough to help you calm down.
Pain in our muscles and joints is at times inevitable, we experience it a few times and even more when you’re doing physical work. Pain relief gels are known to be a big help.
So to help you out with your pain, time-consuming search, confusion on where to start looking and for your panic, we got five pain relief gel reviewed and placed in hands-on testing.
Let’s get going!
Best Pain Relief Gel
|Pain Relief Gel||Ounce||Active Ingredients||Age|
|Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel||4 ounces||Menthol||May be used by children 2 years and adults|
|Sombra Cool Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel 8 oz||8 ounces||Menthol||May be used by children 2 years and adults|
|Glucosamine Pain Relief Gel||9 ounce||Capsicum Oleoresin|
|Adults 18 years and older|
|Dr. Pat’s Muscle Pain Relief Topical Analgesic Gel||16 ounces||Menthol||May be used by children 2 years and adults|
|Mineral Ice Therapeutic Pain Relieving Gel, 16 Ounce Jar||16 ounces||Menthol||May be used by children 2 years and adults|
How do they work?
Pain relieving treatments come in different kinds, some taken orally, others rolled-on, others sprayed, and others make use of patches. Another is a topical treatment, which is through rubbing gel. It can be used by as simple as rubbing the right amount of gel onto the affected area for several times a day. The sensation varies from cooling to heating or warming depending on the active ingredients also called counterirritants. These ingredients work as distractions. For warm treatment, it inflames the area creating a gentler sensation. The cold treatments can help in constricting vessels preventing more damage.
Cream vs. Gel
As mentioned earlier, pain relieving treatments have different forms. When you search for “pain relieving gels,” you might come across pain-relieving creams. Though these two are closely related, they are not the same. Here are some of their differences:
- Gels are transparent in color and creams aren’t.
- Gels are water-based while creams may be water-based, but may also contain oil, which affects absorption.
Who can use?
Pain relief gels are quite inclusive making it useful for people of different ages even those as young as two years old. However, for younger children, it must be used with great caution. Most pain relief gels helps with muscle and joint pains, arthritis, tendinitis and even for post exercise. Therefore, it does not necessarily mean that it can be used only for those with severe ailments. Pain relief gel can be for anybody.
Advantages and disadvantages
Using pain relief gel as a topical treatment is directly applied to the pain area, unlike oral treatments that go through the digestive first. In effect, the gel can also provide immediate relief on the area where it is applied. It is also said that pain relief gels have a lesser side effect, hence safer. Aside from the scent and stain on clothing, there are some users who have sensitive skin. Rubbing the gel may cause irritation and allergies.
1. Active Ingredient
An active ingredient is an ingredient in the drug that is responsible for providing the effect of such drugs. That is, it gives the therapeutic effect of the pain relief gel. Most of the active ingredient in the pain relief gel is menthol in varying percentage. There is also capsicum oleoresin found in chili peppers that gives off the heat.
2. Absorption and effect
Pain relief gel is generally fast acting with immediate absorption. However, each gel product still varies as to their effect on the pain. There are those that may take seconds and other a minute. You may want to have fast absorption and effect for rapid pain relief. It may also depend on your relief preferences.
3. Sensation longevity
After absorption, you might want to have the cold or warm effect a longer lasting effect. Therefore, you can choose a gel product that can last for hours to keep you comfortable and relaxed
As emphasized with the other pain relieving treatments we’ve reviewed. This pertains to the safety in age of which the product can be used. Most of the pain relief gels are suitable to younger children. But, there may be those who are sensitive.
How We Assessed & Evaluated These Pain Relief Gel
Pain relief gel may be considered as a safe alternative to oral pain relief treatment. It might be, but, it is still composed of ingredients and provides benefits that we are not very familiar. Hence, to make our review and selection better and informed, we conducted two levels of evaluation.
We had our online research looking through forums and online vendors. These pages provided us with a good start with our research by checking products, its features and benefits and how these things work, especially its ingredients.
Supplementing our online research are crowdsourced information from third parties who are actual users, care providers and retailers of the products. We asked them how it has helped them, their usage and recommendations.
We started with 15 products on our list. This proves to be difficult considering that they have very similar effects and ingredients. With the help of our interviewees and data, we were able to cut it down to five products.
When we have our top five pain relief gels, we created a group of testers for our hands-on testing phase. It is consist of athletes and those who have ailments such as arthritis and those that are regular users of pain relief gel. We gave them a week to try on the five products and asked them rate and give their opinion and experiences. They are given key points to consider but are encouraged to note other observations.
Top 5 Pain Relief Gel Product Reviews
1. Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel (Editor’s Choice)
Our first pain relief gel comes the long line of pain-relieving products. From sprays and creams to roll-ons.
The Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel, Enhanced Relief of Arthritis, Muscle, Joint, & Back Pain, NSAID Free Pain Reliever Cream for Sore Muscles, 4 oz. Tube, Original Green Formula, 5% Menthol stands out from the colorless gel with its green-colored gel. Some of our first-time testers were surprised with the color since they were expecting a colorless product as expected from gels. The signature green formula aims to help the proper application.
Our testers were cautious that it might cause stains. However, it is said that it does not contain dyes. Based on the testing, there were very minimal stains (close to none).
Aside from the color, they were also met with a comparatively strong minty scent. The testers are divided on this feature. Some consider it as okay especially when they apply it before bed as it gives a soothing and relaxing odor. Others think that you might want to wait a few minutes before heading out.
At 5%, The Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel is one of the pain relieving gel in this review with the highest menthol percentage. It is even bigger than the other products from Biofreeze. Upon application, it will feel cold causing the relieving sensation that dulls the pain. It extends to a couple of ours, which our testers believe that it is actually doing its purpose.
They said that it could also make you feel relaxed especially after workouts or other physical activities throughout the day. What they also like with this product is that it can be used by young children. But, with caution.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
2. Sombra Cool Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel 8 oz (First Runner-Up)
The next pain relief gel on our list is the Sombra Cool Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel 8 oz. The brand offers an array of pain relieving products that centers on the use of natural ingredients since 1974.
This pain relief gel has aloe, grapefruit, lemon and green tea from its inactive ingredients. These elements contribute in the slightly strong, but pleasant scent of the gel. Note, however, that not all the users might like the odor.
Our testers like that it has 6% menthol for its active ingredient. Now, there are again two contrasting results from our hands-on testing. A majority of the testers love that it has a relatively powerful cooling sensation, which tranquilizes the pain immediately after application. They said that it could be suitable for those who are regular users. A minority of the testers deemed that it might be too much. That is, there is a ‘burning’ instead of the cooling sensation. It might also be due to the generous amount they rubbed on the area. Although, this is a caution for those with sensitive skin particularly for children.
Another issue that our testers found with this pain relief gel is its longevity. It does not last as long as the testers expected it to be. They have even applied more times compared to the other products in the review. The testers believe that this can be useful for mild pain and first aid purposes. It might not be handy if you are using it on a regular basis.
Our testers also like that it has no stains, which is useful when applied in the gym after exercises.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
3. Glucosamine Pain Relief Gel (Second Runner-Up)
Glucosamine Pain Relief Gel differs from the other pain relief gel in our due to its active ingredient. It contains Capsicum Oleoresin and Capsaicin. These two ingredients found in chili peppers produces heat to relieve pain. Thus, instead of a cooling sensation, it gives warmth for treatment. This pain relief gel contains less than 1% of these ingredients that target pain (Capsicum Oleoresin) and relief (Capsaicin). It might seem like a small amount, but, a minority of our testers experienced burning sensation that was beyond their tolerance. You might want to take consideration if you have sensitive skin.
The majority of the testers like the warm sensation it provides and deemed that it has decent absorption. It can relieve fast and deep into the affected area. This numbs the pain like how a warm therapy should work. However, it lacks the longevity of the sensation. The warmth of this gel does not stay long for comfort and relief.
As to its consistency and scent. The testers feel that the gel is a little watery in contrast to the other gel products. Its odor is another thing. Testers like that this gel has a very minimal odor that does not assault the nose. So, you can confidently go out even after putting it on.
Also, an important consideration in this product is that it is suited for adults 18 years and older, as provided explicitly in its description. Our testers deemed that it might be due to the burning sensation that even some of them felt that it is too much. Even if you are within the age requirement, caution may still be necessary.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
The name of our fourth pain relief gel may have a cream on it but the actual product is gel.
The Pain Relief Cream [XL- 16 Oz] – Dr. Pat’s Muscle Pain Relief Topical Analgesic Gel – Anti Inflammatory Therapy Rub for Arthritis, Tendinitis, Back Sciatica, Neck Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Sore Joint has the biggest volume at 16 ounces. The ounce can be considered a minor criterion because our focus is on the actual performance of the product. Although, our testers pointed out that a large ounce makes it convenient for those that use it regularly as they don’t have to buy several jars or tubes.
If the Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel is green, this pain relief gel comes in blue color. You don’t have to be anxious about its color though as like the Biofreeze is also has a very small hint of stain and even none to other testers. They also like that its odor is not overpowering. You can still tell that there is some minty scent to the gel, but, it is not as strong as the other products in this review. Some of the testers even said that it is milder than the product they are currently using.
With its pain-relieving effects, its cooling effect is fast. You can feel the coldness and the dulling of the pain, seconds after you applied the product. An issue that they have observed from this pain relief gel is that even with the fast-acting relief, it is not very strong. It might be because it has 2% menthol as an active ingredient.
This pain relief gel also does not last very long. The relief and coolness last only a few minutes then you have to reapply.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
Coming in a 16 ounces jar of gel, the Mineral Ice Therapeutic Pain Relieving Gel, 16 Ounce Jar has a greaseless gel that gives off the cooling and relieving cold treatment for painful and sore muscles.
Straight to its absorption, this pain relief gel can “get the job done” according to our testers. You can instantly feel the effects of the gel when applied to the affected. Thus, it got good points from our testing.
This pain relief gel also has a good scent that will not stay for long. Our testers love that they don’t have to wait for it to be gone when they go out after applying the gel. The greaseless character of the product does not leave an oily feeling on the skin. But, it is like water that dries, which does not leave traces.
However, the testers were a bit concerned about the product’s consistency. There were reports that this pain relief gel is watery. In our hands-on testing, the testers found that it is a bit watery compared to the other products in the review. Hence, there is an instance of very slight dripping.
Our testers also observed that even though there is an immediate effect on the pain, it has the dulling is quite short. That is, compared to the other products in the review its effect does not longer than the testers expect and preferred.
Another issue that they have found is that similar to Pain Relief Cream [XL- 16 Oz] – Dr. Pat’s Muscle Pain Relief Topical Analgesic Gel, it only has 2% of active ingredient (menthol). Thus, the product also has a weaker effect, in contrast, the others we have in this review.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
After hours spent to evaluate these products, we have the Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel, Enhanced Relief of Arthritis, Muscle, Joint, & Back Pain, NSAID Free Pain Reliever Cream for Sore Muscles, 4 oz. Tube, Original Green Formula, 5% Menthol. With its 5% menthol as an active ingredient, it gives the users the immediate and fast-acting pain relief of their pain that will stay for hours. It can provide the dulling and loosening of the muscles helping you relax even more. It gets better as it can be used on small children as young as two years old. Be sure to watch out for a hint of stain and scent.
Closely following the Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel is Sombra Cool Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel 8 oz as First Runner-Up. this could have been our top choice if not for its comparatively short-lasting effect. This pain relief gel is made with many natural ingredients including a 6% menthol giving it a pleasant scent and with pain relieving capacities. It leaves no stains on clothes for a confident application.
Our Second Runner-Up is the Glucosamine Pain Relief Gel. The only pain relief gel on our list that gives warm therapy. If it wasn’t too strong, it could have been at the first two top selection. Nonetheless, this product is deemed to have good absorption to the muscles, decent scent with only a little odor and is also speedy in giving the comfort.