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The best ointments for muscle pain and how they work

Feeling stiff and sore after a hard run? Using muscle pain relief cream to massage your tired muscles might be just what you need to get up and go the next day.

When we feel pain, it’s a complicated thing that comes from a mix of physical and mental responses. So, when we try to deal with that pain, we need to look at both the physical and mental parts.

Using ointments to treat pain in muscles

It’s probably Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness if you feel really sore the day after a hard run or race (DOMS). DOMS is a mild form of muscle damage that causes stiffness, swelling, and changes in how the joints move next to the affected muscle. It is one of the most common reasons why people don’t do as well in sports.

It’s a good idea to use the best over-the-counter muscle pain relief cream to deal with muscle pain and soreness. But don’t count on it too much.

We like pain relief creams

Now that you know what to expect from a pain-relief topical (hint: it’s not the world on a plate), here are a few that we liked.

The Arnica-Menthol Magic Balm from Dr. Bronner’s

It smells like peppermint and menthol, which you might expect to be cool, but this ointment goes on warm and cools off quickly, giving pain relief to sore quads for about half a day. An added bonus? The base blend of olive, jojoba, and coconut oil makes the skin smoother.

Pain Cream by Pachamama

We were surprised to find that we liked this CBD pain cream better than Pachamama’s CBD muscle rub, but the relief was pretty quick and sweet. CBD muscle rubs have been marketed as pain-relieving miracle cures, but their effectiveness in a topical form has not been studied much. We know a little about how CBD helps with recovery and reduces inflammation but not how it works when applied to the skin.

J.R. Watkins Lotion for Muscle Pain Relief

This topical cream has the best texture because it is creamy but not too heavy. It works great for giving yourself a much-needed massage on your legs. It has magnesium, vitamin D, peppermint, and camphor as ingredients.

Pain Relief Roll-On by J.R. Watkins

This roll-on, which has the same ingredients as the J.R. Watkins lotion, is a great way to keep your hands clean. And we liked the roller more than the spray that didn’t require us to use our hands.