Penetrex vs. Voltaren vs. Biofreeze vs. Sombra
Topical Anti-Inflammatory Gels and Creams
Topical anti-inflammatory gels and creams are one of the safest ways to reduce inflammation and pain in joints. But there are so many creams and gels to choose from, we may feel overwhelmed by all the options. This article will review the most popular creams for muscle and joint pain. Whether you are looking to heal your injury or provide some relief for your sore joints, this article will help you choose the best anti-inflammatory cream.
My personal favorite for joint problems. Give it a try to you won't regret it.
It works for muscles as well, but I personally found the Biofreeze more effective for muscle problems.
Penetrex doesn't have a strong odor, you can barely smell it. And if you are looking for a strong burning sensation to take off the edge of the pain by freezing, this is not the product for you. You might want to look at Sombra and Biofreeze for such a product. However it is very effective. It works from the first day of use, however I found it more efficient after a few days. I started by applying it two or three times per day, and after 10 days or so I only applied it once per day, as a maintenance. It kept my knee in control.
My wife who is reluctant to anything that is not USDA approved gave in and accepted to let me apply it on her wrist. Her wrist was in pain for three weeks when she finally accepted to try it. It worked for her too, after a few days of using the cream the pain disappeared.
Purified Water, Arnica Montana Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Shea Butter, Boswellia Serrata, Cetyl Esters, Steareth-20, Choline Bitartrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM/DMSO2), Glucosamine Sulfate, Ethoxydiglycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Myristoleate, Peppermint Oil, Camphor, Tea Tree Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ammonium Acryloyl-Dimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
Penetrex Video Review
Why Creams and Gels Are the Best Options for Joint and Muscle Inflammation
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs vs Creams
As a knee sufferer, I have tried many products on the market and I found that the gels and the creams are the most effective while safe for use. I only used pills when I was in big pain, because non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, although effective in controlling the pain, when abused, can have serious side effects, including stomach and liver problems.
The steroidal anti-inflammatory are also dangerous, when abused. This leaves us with a few options: anti-inflammatory diet, anti-inflammatory supplements and topical anti-inflammatory. A controlled diet, and supplements are a good way to help for the joint inflammation, however it is not going to be sufficient. The creams, gels and ointments are the best. There is also cryotherapy, which is also called hydrotherapy, and is basically the use of ice on the problem site.
I personally used anti-inflammatory drugs very rarely, and only when other methods didn't work. The NSAID were the last resort to help other methods of reducing the inflammation.
Biofreeze was and it still is the favorite pain relief of massage therapists, chiropractors and physiotherapists. It relieves pain very fast and it helps muscle healing by increasing the blood flow locally. Its natural ingredients formula is safe, yet extremely effective for muscle pain. It works on joints too providing a short term pain relief, however, for joints I prefer Penetrex. If your joint is healthy, but is just overused Biofreeze is probably the best option, but if you have a chronic problem, Penetrex might work better for you.
The Biofreeze has a strong, but pleasant menthol and camphor smell, and it has a burning/cooling sensation, after you apply it. It stimulates the muscles and joints similarly to an ice pack.
Menthol 3.5%, Camphor, carbomer, Herbal Extract (ILEX Paraguariensis), Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Silicon Dioxide, Triethanolamine, FD&C blue #1, FD&C yellow #5, Glycerine, Water
Types of Topical NSAID
Cold Therapy vs Topical Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
There are two types of creams discussed in this article, and I am prepared to be criticized for comparing apples to oranges, but it kind of makes sense because so many people do this comparison. One type of creams and gels are cooling agents, that work in a similar way to applying ice on the joint, and the other type contains substances that will stimulate the tissue healing. The first type will have an immediate effect, soothing pain and reducing inflammation, the second type will be effective on the long run, with minimal effects on a short term.
Typical usages for Biofreeze, IcyHot, or Sombra are for immediate pain relief, acute muscle or joint injuries, and generally it will allow you to move freely without pain even with an acute injury. Your body will start the healing process normally.
The typical usage for Penetrex, Voltaren, CTCream and others, is for treating chronic muscle and joint problems. The cream will be absorbed through the skin and the active substances will stimulate the body to regenerate and heal the joint.
Sombra Therapeutic Gel - Cold or Warm Therapy
Sombra gel is one of the leading topical analgesics in the U.S. The Cold or Warm Therapy Sombra Gels are some of the best products on the market, and one of the best seller in their category. The list of ingredients totally different from Penetrex or Biofreze, containing grapefruit seed extract, and capsaicin, two ingredients proven to work great for muscles and joints.
Menthol 3.0%, Camphor 3.0%, Aloe Vera Extract, Capsaicin, Decyl Plyglucose, Deionized Water, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Orange Peel Extract, Green Tea Extract, Queen of the Prairie Extract, Rose Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Witch Hazel, Yucca Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate, Silica, Carbomer.
Penetrex vs. Voltaren Comparison
Penetrex is a combination of many natural substances in a base that will help the skin absorption. Although most the components of Penetrex were never subject to rigorous scientific research to prove their effectiveness, the combination is the best anti-inflammatory cream I have used. It has great results, and this is probably the reason it is number one seller in its category. The active ingredients are: Vitamin B6, Arnica, Choline, MSM, Cetyl Myristoleate, Shea Butter & Boswellia Serrata.
Voltaren is a simpler cream with only one active ingredient - diclofenac diethylamine. Diclofenac has been in the attention of the medical research world for a while, and it is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and pain on muscles and joints. The relief is faster than with Penetrex, however, I found Penetrex more efficient in the long run.
And you cannot ignore the danger associated with using diclofenac, which are higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
Blue-Emu - Emu Oil Cream
Blue Emu is another great cream for joints. Actually, many people who have used it prefer it over any other topical pain relief. This is a fast-acting pain relief, with immediate and long-lasting action. The emu oil is combined with glucosamine and MSM, providing great relief.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Does Penetrex help with pain below the knee?
Penetrex helps by reducing the inflammation. It is not a miracle cure that you put on and all pain is gone. Find out what's causing the pain, if you want long term results. The pain could be caused by tendonitis, (inflammation), which Penetrex could alleviate, but you need to use it for at least a week or so to see results.
If you are a runner, you probably need to look at other things to change, the best thing to do is to contact a great specialist.
This answer doesn't constitute medical advice.Helpful 2
I have surgery next week and I'm not allowed to use NSAIDs. Can I use Voltaren or Sombra?
This is not medical advice, and it is only for informational purposes.
Surgeons recommend stopping NSAIDs before surgery to decrease the risk of excessive bleeding.
Voltaren contains diclofenac sodium which is an NSAID. Sombra contains a lot of natural compounds that are anti-inflammatory, and these are not considered NSAIDS, but they have similar effects. For instance, Capsicum Annuum might increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
I would use any of the two if I were you, but the best person to ask this question is the doctor who recommended to not take any NSAIDS.Helpful 1