Anything topical is, well just that – topical.
There are definitely ointments, gels, creams etc. that will distract you from your stiff joints and sore muscles, but they’re not gonna fix you.
These are a few of my favorites:
Tiger balm is mildly effective and only costs as much as 2 family size Kit Kat bars. No tigers were harmed in the making of this product. In fact, there are no animal-based ingredients at all.
I have personally never felt the benefits of using arnica, but it’s one of the most popular topical treatments for both tight & sore muscles.
Arnica is derived from a plant and has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is still popular today. Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, it has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds.
Aveda’s Active Composition is, in one word, delicious (not literally) and doesn’t evoke memories of visiting grandma in the nursing home. It’s $21 and worth it.
Biofreeze is my favorite, but it is usually only sold as a professional product available in beauty supply stores and massage companies. It is a green gel that goes on cold and is rubbed in thoroughly for best effect. The product contains menthol to ease muscle soreness and lessen discomfort by drawing blood away from the wounded area. Wow. I just learned that they now make it colorless! Genius! And although I get the whole green/menthol philosophy, it’s about time. Now it is a perfect product.
Thermacare wraps from the drugstore are a pretty intense distraction from pain and stay hot for about 8 hours. You can wear them under your clothes, and they are perfect for times when you can’t stay home and rest with a heating pad because god hates you and those burgers aren’t going to flip themselves.
This article is a good one for when to ice or heat.
Contrary to everyone who knows nothing – YOU WILL NOT DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH if you use ice or heat incorrectly. You just won’t feel better.
Anyone have any additional recommendations to add to this list?