The Best Topical Pain Relievers for Chronic Pain Relief

Topical pain relievers are either sprayed or rubbed on the affected area to soothe the muscles and relieve pain. Though they differ in effectiveness and ingredients contained in them, they serve the same purposes.

Some common type of topical pain relievers includes Tiger Balm, Bengay, Aspercreme, Salonpas, Biofreeze, Arnica and Arnica gel.

Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm is a very effective topical pain reliever manufactured and supplied by a reputable company known as Haw Par Healthcare which is based in Singapore. You can obtain the product over the counter without a doctor's prescription.

The product is found in various forms such as creams, rubs, ointments, among others. It is used to relieve minor strains, pains, and aches on your muscles. It acts as an analgesic and numbs the affected area to reduce the intensity of pain on the muscle. It also serves as discomfort on the affected area to distract pain from the tissue. It is classified as a counter-irritant and can only be used to offer temporary pain relief

 Tiger Balm contains both active and inactive components. The active ingredients in the pain reliever are extracted from natural plants and combined with paraffin to form the topical pain reliever and include:

 • Methyl Salicylate-it is the numbing component in the pain reliever. It acts as an analgesic and comprises 15% of the drug.

 • Menthol-the drug contains 5% of menthol which helps in reducing inflammation on the affected area. Menthol is obtained from mint oils and can induce enough constrictions in blood vessels to enable pain relief.

• Camphor-it has 3% of camphor. It is derived from Cinnamomum camphora a natural plant. It cools or warms the skin to reduce the intensity of pain you are experiencing.  

• Other components include; mint oil, cassia oil, clove oil capsicum, eucalyptus oil, cajuput oil, among others.

Using the Balm

Reduce pain and strain on muscles

Ingredients found in the drug such as camphor increases blood flow in the affected area while warming the area to reduce any pain and stiffness on your muscles. Menthol also ensures that the circulation of blood in the tissues is enhanced thus reducing inflammation and provides the injured area heals faster.

Methyl salicylate causes numbness on the muscles and helps to reduce aches and any strains. Additionally, some advanced forms of the drugs contain capsicum that ensures the pain transmitters are deactivated reducing the intensity of pain on the muscles. Thu it is correct to conclude that the topical pain reliever can be able to effectively reduce aches that originate from arthritis, cancer and any other problems.

Relieve headaches

Applying the component on your forehead can reduce a terrible headache.

Back pain

If you are experiencing pain on the lower back, the drug can help relieve it.

Other types of pain

It can also relieve neck pain, joint pain, and shoulder pain.  


It offers pain relief from arthritis pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and backache. You can buy the ultra-strength Bengay over the counter and is useful in penetrating areas deep in your muscles and joints. The component acts by first cooling the affected area and after a few minutes generating a warm sensation on the area. If you want Bengay to work effectively ensure the area of application is clean and dry before use.

The pain reliever acts only as a temporary solution to distract your pain receptors from signaling the pain to you. However, it will not work on open wounds as it causes a burning sensation that may cause a gaping injury to get worse.


It is classified under the group of salicylates. If used correctly it is useful for inflammation, backache, muscle strains and sprains, muscle pain, arthritis pain, and chronic pain. Aspercreme is also helpful to prevent itching and pain from skin burns, insect bites, and eczema. Aspercreme can also be used to decrease pain during a medical procedure such as surgery.


Salonpas is only useful on minor pains or aches on your muscles and joints. Salonpas distracts you from feeling the pain by causing a cooling and warming effect on the muscles or joints. It has one major active component known as methyl salicylate that can penetrate through the skin into the muscle and joint in pain, causing a relief of pain or strain.


It contains menthol that enhances the blockage of pain receptors to relieve pain. Biofreeze has other inactive ingredients that make the compound efficient such as camphor, alcohol, glycerine, water, among others. Biofreeze is effective in relieving backache, arthritis pain, muscle pain, and muscle sprains.


Arnica is a herb mostly found in Central Europe and Siberia. The flower of the herb is used for medicinal purposes. You can take arnica to ease pain from the removal of wisdom tooth, insect bites, swollen and painful veins, muscle pain and post-surgery pain. You can apply on the skin to reduce pain or strain on your muscles and joints. Arnica is commonly used to treat osteoarthritis and helps people suffering from the condition to have painless hands and knees.

Arnica Gel

Arnica gel is a common topical pain reliever used to relieve muscle soreness and pain related to muscle sprains. Arnica gel is used primarily as a temporary solution to help patients reduce chronic pain.  

How to use topical pain relievers

You can either spray or rub the topical pain relievers on your skin or affected area. You should ensure you clean the affected area and dry it before applying the pain reliever. Most topical relievers are used on the skin, and if the components come into contact with your eyes, mouth or ears, you need to wash off with plenty of water. Most of the elements should not be applied to children who are less than two years. On children below the age of twelve, you need to consult a doctor before using them.

If you the affected area is your hands, rub the topical relievers gently on the area and leave it to settle for around thirty minutes before washing your hands with plenty of water. The above components are very irritable, and you should first apply a small area on your skin to ensure that your skin is not allergic to the medicine.

Additionally, don't apply to injured skin or irritated skin. You should not wrap the affected area or subject the area to warm or hot temperatures after application of the pain relievers. The most recommended times you should use the pain relievers is 3 to 4 times a day.

Side effects of topical pain relievers

• Redness on the applied area.

• Burning sensation upon application of the pain reliever

• Itching or a stinging feeling on the area that you have applied the pain reliever is normal.

• Discomfort on the area that you have sprayed or rubbed the pain reliever is common.

Those are the common side effects of pain relievers. However, you experience allergic reactions such as the formation of blisters, swelling or extreme burning sensation accompanied by severe redness it is essential to consult a doctor.

 Pain mainly occurs when the pain receptors send signals from your spine to the brain. The most effective pain relievers block the pain receptors from sending the message to your brain of an existing pain thus relieving the pain. Others offer cold and warm sensations on your affected area and distract your mind from acknowledging the pain.

Tiger Balm, Bengay, Aspercreme, Salonpas, Biofreeze, and Arnica Gel are the most effective topical pain relievers available in the market. They relieve muscle pains, backache, headaches, arthritis pain, back pain, shoulder pain, muscle strains, chronic pain, among other pains in your body.



Information presented on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare professional. All experiences and results of various treatments described are my own results, and may be different from any results you may have. Please consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before trying any new treatment for your health.


About Me

Pain Relief

I’m the Lady in Pain, welcome! I’m Sophie, and I have been in pain of various types and severity most of my life. I love helping others that are struggling with ways to alleviate their pain as I’ve tried almost everything myself.

My favorite things include cozy mysteries, pain free days that get me outside, and cake. I hope you’ll find something to help you from my arsenal of pain relief attempts. Many have helped me, and I hope to save you from wasting your money on those that didn’t.