{"id":605512565042,"title":"Pain Relief Cream: Do They Actually Work?","created_at":"2023-06-06T20:21:41-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Pain Relief Cream: Do They Actually Work?\",\n \"keywords\": \"pain relief cream, best pain relief cream, pain relief creams, cbd pain relief cream\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in popular pain relief creams to give our take on whether they're likely to be effective or if they're a waste of money. We highlight three ingredients to watch out for, and feature real pain relief cream user reviews.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/does-pain-relief-cream-work\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Auren Weinberg\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/auren-weinberg\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/aurenweinberg\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"pharmaceutical medication, medicine, OTC drugs, medical research, clinical trials, generic drugs, branded drugs, dietary supplements, chemistry, health, wellness, healthcare\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"Haverford College\",\n \"University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry\",\n \"Fox School of Business at Temple University\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Pain_Relief_Cream_Thumbnail.png?v=1686097550\",\n\"width\": \"3840\",\n\"height\": \"3840\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29524352\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32421842\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31793418\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8487862\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/2921260\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33141054\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29722610\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32638445\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18416885\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30368550\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"menthol\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"CBD\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"lidocaine\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Talking With Docs\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Good Morning America\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Izzy Kornblau\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Footless Jo\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-06-06\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Pain_Relief_Cream_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1686097073\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain relief.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eT\u003c\/span\u003ehere are a large number of analgesic (pain-relieving) creams available on the market, but consumers may be wary about whether a cream applied to the skin can really reduce pain in the same way a pill or other medication can. Many pain relief creams make bold and unproven health claims which can further this concern.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut can creams applied to the skin actually reduce pain, and if so, what ingredients are shown in medical studies to have that effect? Are drugstore creams better options than more novel pain relief creams like CBD? What do medical experts have to say about pain relief creams? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of various pain relief creams?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze medical studies on pain relief creams to highlight certain ingredients that consumers should look out for, because they have a strong research backing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll feature some YouTube videos with medical experts discussing pain relief cream, as well as some unsponsored user reviews of various pain relief creams.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhat Ingredients in Creams are Shown to Relieve Pain?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are several compounds that have been shown in medical studies to relieve pain when applied topically.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMenthol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a compound that’s derived from plants like peppermint, and was shown in a 2018 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29524352\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to produce a \u003cstrong\u003e“cooling sensation”\u003c\/strong\u003e when applied to skin, and to desensitize pain receptors.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJournal of Sport Rehabilitation\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that menthol decreased pain scores by over 10% after one single application.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis ingredient is in a large number of drugstore pain relief creams, including Vicks VapoRub and Bengay.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCBD\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, short for cannabidiol, is a compound primarily derived from the hemp plant which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving pain when applied topically. A 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32421842\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on patients with chronic back pain described the following:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Hemp-derived CBD in a transdermal cream provided significant symptom and pain relief\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e for the patients described in this case series.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31793418\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCurrent Pharmaceutical Biotechnology\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal reported that a CBD cream provided “significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations” in patients with peripheral neuropathy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eLidocaine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another well-studied topical pain relief compound.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA 2021 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8487862\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e described topical lidocaine as being “widely used in current practice for a variety of pain conditions.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/2921260\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that topical lidocaine was effective in relieving pain from skin burns:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Our results indicate that topical lidocaine cream offers significant pain relief of long duration without associated systemic side effects.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBased on the available research, we would recommend that patients searching for pain relief creams choose a brand that has one of the above-mentioned active ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe also recommend that users pay attention to the amount or strength of the active ingredient in the products.  Topical lidocaine, for example, is often found at 4% strength and called “maximum strength” but 5% lidocaine products are also available.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eMedical Experts Discuss Pain Relief Creams\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube video from the “Talking With Docs” channel discusses the best topical medications for pain relief:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/B1BLFQr01sA\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA Good Morning America segment features a doctor discussing whether CBD cream can relieve pain:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/QKaETKN8Qvc\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur CBD and Menthol Cream Pick\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Pain_Relief_Products_Image_Optimized.png?v=1686097141\"\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8359\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eCornbread CBD Lotion\u003c\/a\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top pick for a topical CBD product.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCBD \u003cspan\u003eis\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9859876\/\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003eto be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\"significant improvements in pain\" when applied topically\u003c\/strong\u003e in a 2020 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31793418\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis lotion also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto reduce pain scores.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInterested consumers can check out Cornbread CBD Lotion\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8359\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto the product page on the official brand's website.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThere are also food-based compounds which have been clinically shown to support pain relief.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCinnamon\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e is a spice that has been studied for its ability to reduce pain and support joint health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29722610\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan\u003eJournal of the American College of Nutrition\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan\u003e found that cinnamon supplementation at a daily dose of 500 mg reduced inflammation and joint swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32638445\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e found that cinnamon supplementation reduced inflammatory markers. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eThe study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eIlluminate Labs manufactures a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eCeylon Cinnamon Extract\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e supplement that’s potent (standardized to minimum 8% flavonoids) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy (test results published transparently on the product page). It only costs \u003cstrong\u003e$15\u003c\/strong\u003e for a monthly subscription.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCollagen\u003c\/b\u003e is the core structural protein in joints. The body produces it naturally, but its production decreases with age.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18416885\/\"\u003eMedical research\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ehas shown that collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes at a 10 gram (g) daily dose, and can reduce arthritic pain (\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30368550\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, doses ranging between 40 mg and 10 g daily dose).\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe recommend \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/c\/3271428\/1278011\/9221\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eBulletproof Collagen Powder\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e as our top collagen product because it provides an effective collagen dose per serving (20 g) and contains one single ingredient: collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. There are no questionable additives. This supplement only costs \u003cstrong\u003e$45.16\u003c\/strong\u003e for over a month's worth of product.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen powder \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/c\/3271428\/1278011\/9221\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e to the brand's official website.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe do not recommend using dietary supplements to treat any specific medical condition related to pain.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eUnsponsored Pain Relief Cream User Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named Izzy Kornblau who has chronic pain reviewed four topical pain treatments to share her thoughts on which one is the best:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/L55yY7KXkQg\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named “Footless Jo” who also suffers from chronic pain shared her thoughts on a different set of pain relief creams:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/nHDowrsX7X8\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are a number of research-backed ingredients for reducing pain when applied topically.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article, we highlighted research on three such compounds that consumers may wish to look out for when shopping for pain relief creams: menthol, CBD and lidocaine.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe also shared two videos where medical experts confirmed that some pain relief creams are likely to be effective based on their formulation, and shared unsponsored user reviews that compared various over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief creams.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe hope that this article can serve as a useful guide for consumers experiencing pain.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-06-06T20:31:27-04:00","updated_at":"2023-09-15T16:45:28-04:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in popular pain relief creams to give our take on whether they're likely to be effective or if they're a waste of money. We highlight three ingredients to watch out for, and feature real pain relief cream user reviews.","template_suffix":"","handle":"does-pain-relief-cream-work","tags":"_related:pain-relief"}

Pain Relief Cream: Do They Actually Work?

Pain Relief Cream: Do They Actually Work?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain relief.

There are a large number of analgesic (pain-relieving) creams available on the market, but consumers may be wary about whether a cream applied to the skin can really reduce pain in the same way a pill or other medication can. Many pain relief creams make bold and unproven health claims which can further this concern.

But can creams applied to the skin actually reduce pain, and if so, what ingredients are shown in medical studies to have that effect? Are drugstore creams better options than more novel pain relief creams like CBD? What do medical experts have to say about pain relief creams? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of various pain relief creams?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze medical studies on pain relief creams to highlight certain ingredients that consumers should look out for, because they have a strong research backing.

We’ll feature some YouTube videos with medical experts discussing pain relief cream, as well as some unsponsored user reviews of various pain relief creams.

What Ingredients in Creams are Shown to Relieve Pain?

There are several compounds that have been shown in medical studies to relieve pain when applied topically.

Menthol is a compound that’s derived from plants like peppermint, and was shown in a 2018 medical review to produce a “cooling sensation” when applied to skin, and to desensitize pain receptors.

A clinical trial published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation found that menthol decreased pain scores by over 10% after one single application.

This ingredient is in a large number of drugstore pain relief creams, including Vicks VapoRub and Bengay.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound primarily derived from the hemp plant which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving pain when applied topically. A 2020 medical review on patients with chronic back pain described the following:

“Hemp-derived CBD in a transdermal cream provided significant symptom and pain relief for the patients described in this case series.”

A clinical trial published in the Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology journal reported that a CBD cream provided “significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations” in patients with peripheral neuropathy.

Lidocaine is another well-studied topical pain relief compound.

A 2021 medical review described topical lidocaine as being “widely used in current practice for a variety of pain conditions.”

Another medical review found that topical lidocaine was effective in relieving pain from skin burns:

“Our results indicate that topical lidocaine cream offers significant pain relief of long duration without associated systemic side effects.”

Based on the available research, we would recommend that patients searching for pain relief creams choose a brand that has one of the above-mentioned active ingredients.

We also recommend that users pay attention to the amount or strength of the active ingredient in the products.  Topical lidocaine, for example, is often found at 4% strength and called “maximum strength” but 5% lidocaine products are also available.

Medical Experts Discuss Pain Relief Creams

A YouTube video from the “Talking With Docs” channel discusses the best topical medications for pain relief:

A Good Morning America segment features a doctor discussing whether CBD cream can relieve pain:

Our CBD and Menthol Cream Pick

Cornbread CBD Lotion is our top pick for a topical CBD product.

CBD is clinically shown to be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused "significant improvements in pain" when applied topically in a 2020 clinical trial.

This lotion also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022 clinical trial to reduce pain scores.

Interested consumers can check out Cornbread CBD Lotion at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.

There are also food-based compounds which have been clinically shown to support pain relief.

Cinnamon is a spice that has been studied for its ability to reduce pain and support joint health.

clinical trial published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that cinnamon supplementation at a daily dose of 500 mg reduced inflammation and joint swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2020 clinical trial found that cinnamon supplementation reduced inflammatory markers. The study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”

Illuminate Labs manufactures a Ceylon Cinnamon Extract supplement that’s potent (standardized to minimum 8% flavonoids) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy (test results published transparently on the product page). It only costs $15 for a monthly subscription.

Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract at this link.

Collagen is the core structural protein in joints. The body produces it naturally, but its production decreases with age. Medical research has shown that collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes at a 10 gram (g) daily dose, and can reduce arthritic pain (meta-study, doses ranging between 40 mg and 10 g daily dose).

We recommend Bulletproof Collagen Powder as our top collagen product because it provides an effective collagen dose per serving (20 g) and contains one single ingredient: collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. There are no questionable additives. This supplement only costs $45.16 for over a month's worth of product.

Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen powder at this link to the brand's official website.

We do not recommend using dietary supplements to treat any specific medical condition related to pain.

Unsponsored Pain Relief Cream User Reviews

A YouTube creator named Izzy Kornblau who has chronic pain reviewed four topical pain treatments to share her thoughts on which one is the best:

A YouTube creator named “Footless Jo” who also suffers from chronic pain shared her thoughts on a different set of pain relief creams:

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

There are a number of research-backed ingredients for reducing pain when applied topically.

In this article, we highlighted research on three such compounds that consumers may wish to look out for when shopping for pain relief creams: menthol, CBD and lidocaine.

We also shared two videos where medical experts confirmed that some pain relief creams are likely to be effective based on their formulation, and shared unsponsored user reviews that compared various over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief creams.

We hope that this article can serve as a useful guide for consumers experiencing pain.