The Best Over-the-Counter Creams for Arthritis
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If you’re living with arthritis, you know just how painful this chronic health condition can be. Each day can bring aches, pain, stiffness, and discomfort. And trying to manage or reduce these uncomfortable symptoms doesn’t always bring relief.
There are many different options when it comes to arthritis treatment and pain management. Doctors often recommend combinations of lifestyle changes, medications, and therapies. However, sometimes something as simple as an over-the-counter drugstore cream can offer pain relief. And you don’t have to spend much to try these products out.
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That’s right: drugstore creams can actually contain the right ingredients to relieve some arthritis pain. Certain over-the-counter products may help reduce stiffness and make your joints feel more comfortable throughout the day.
Over-the-counter topical creams can help relieve arthritis pain. You can apply them to your most painful areas multiple times per day, and they can get to work by being absorbed directly through your skin. And to find the creams that may work the best, you’ll want to look for pain-relieving ingredients that are proven to work for arthritis.
According to Healthline, the ingredients that typically made over-the-counter topical creams effective include¹:
- Salicylates, which reduce inflammation, swelling, and irritation.
- Warming ingredients, like menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, and cinnamon oil. These are known as counterirritants, which means they warm or cool the skin to distract your brain from feeling pain.
- Capsaicin, which reduces pain by blocking pain receptors in the skin.
Giving over-the-counter creams with these ingredients a try could prove beneficial for your arthritis symptoms. If you’re ready to test them out, here are a few of the best options available.
Bengay Ultra Strength Pain Relieving Cream
Price: As low as $4.69²
How It Works
Bengay Ultra Strength Pain Relieving Cream contains three powerful ingredients – and each one can actually help with arthritis pain. This topical cream includes salicylates to tackle inflammation and swelling, as well as camphor and menthol to warm and cool the skin³. As the cream is absorbed into the skin, it can provide relief from minor arthritis pain and any muscle or bone pain.
Icy Hot Vanishing Gel
How It Works
With an ingredients list that includes the anti-inflammatory salicylates and cooling menthol, Icy Hot Vanishing Gel is a topical over-the-counter cream that can deliver quick effects⁵. Because this cream is technically a vanishing gel, its color and its scent disappear rapidly. Once on your skin, this product will cool, then warm the area to help with pain relief.
Myoflex Odorless Pain Relieving Cream
How It Works
If you dislike the scent of most topical creams, you’ll love Myoflex Odorless Pain Relieving Cream. With no scent and a lotion-like feel, this product is easy to apply and won’t leave you feeling greasy. It includes salicylates, which will help fight the inflammation that can cause arthritis pain.
Capzasin-HP Arthritis Cream
How It Works
Capzasin-HP Arthritis Cream has one of its best ingredients right in its name: capsaicin. This spicy ingredient, which is found in chili peppers, can relieve arthritis pain as well as sprains and strains in your muscles⁸. When applied, you’ll experience a mild warming sensation, which means the cream is getting to work.
Sportscreme Deep Penetrating Pain Relieving Rub
How It Works
This topical cream is targeted more towards athletes, but it can still offer arthritis sufferers some pain relief and other benefits. Sportscreme Deep Penetrating Pain Relieving Rub includes salicylates, which means it can soothe inflammation that may be causing pain. It also promises fast pain relief, all without heat, unpleasant odor, or any other medication10.
Try an Over-the-Counter Cream for Your Arthritis Pain
While there are a number of arthritis treatments available, every option works differently for different people. Prescription medication, lifestyle changes, and regular exercise or physical therapy may work for you. And over-the-counter topical creams may also work for you.
Anyone can give over-the-counter creams a try. If you’re experiencing painful arthritis symptoms, you may be able to find relief by applying these creams to your skin. With an affordable price tag and widespread availability, you can find them at your local drugstore.
Remember, it’s a good idea to do your research before trying any new product or treatment option for arthritis. You’ll want to talk with your doctor about any potential side effects. You should also do some research to compare different over-the-counter creams – look at the price, the effectiveness, and the ingredient list. Do your due diligence, and you’ll be better prepared.