Best Pain Relief Patches Reviewed

Before pain relief patches were a thing, people with muscle pain or injury had to turn to topical creams or oral products. However most of these creams are very expensive, so it may end up costing a lot if you had a particularly large area that your injury is spread over. It was also a hassle to constantly have to apply and reapply the creams as it wore off. For places like your back, it was difficult to reach and would require the assistance of someone. Unfortunately, it’s not always that there is someone nearby that can help you apply your cream. It can also be embarrassing for some people to have to ask something so intimate of others.

 

Featured Products

ThermaCare Advanced
  • ThermaCare Advanced
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • X Design
  • Consistent
  • Price: See Here
Icy Hot Extra Strength
  • Icy Hot Extra Strength
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Back Injuries
  • Muscle Relaxant
  • Price: See Here
Premium Essential Oils & Herbs
  • Premium Essential Oils & Herbs
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • All Natural
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here

 

During these times, these products can help immensely. It is a quick and easy way which a person an independently attend to their own muscle and joint discomfort. For larger injuries like on the back or the thigh, these patches were also much more cost-efficient and saved a lot of money in the long run. It was also much more convenient to use them as it eliminates the time needed to apply the cream and rub it in. It was a simple product to stick to wherever was hurting and off you went.

These patches were also a lot less messy in comparison to creams. Most creams are sticky and can rub off onto your clothes or equipment. For these specific patches, the medicated side is the side that goes onto your injury while the other side is just fabric. This eliminated the chances of getting greases and stains that you could not get out from your equipment or clothes. Most of these products also last significantly longer than creams, allowing you to spend less time changing the patches over and over again.

These patches are a wonderful invention and work well for people that partake in combat sports. With everything you do, there is an element of danger and the possibility of being hurt. The risk is slightly greater when it comes to partaking in sports that have a lot of sparring. When injuries occur, these patches can help provide you immediate relief and also get you started on the healing process. They are great as they can be cut into sizes and shapes you need so that the product does not impede on your movement.

 

 

10 Best Pain Relief Patches

 

 

1. ThermaCare Advanced

This is a brand many people have chosen as their go-to brand. They have a large selection of pain relief patches for different needs. This particular product is a fan favorite as it can reach muscles that a rectangular patch doesn’t quite reach. The product allows for maximum mobility and flexibility while it supports your injury.
Expand to see more
X Design
Many products that help with muscle and joint pain come in large rectangles. Most of them require alterations on your part to fit the particular area you are experiencing discomfort. Some patches are not big enough and require the use of two. This product comes in the shape of an X, which is designed to help heal awkward areas such as your elbow, knees, and ankles.

Consistent
A lot of patches for pain relief work in the first few moments of applying it on your body. Over time either your body no longer recognizes it’s there, or all the medication has worn off. When this happens, you end up reapplying a new patch that may only give you relief for an hour or so again. Once this product is stuck on, it delivers consistent energy and heat to your sore muscles for up to eight hours.

Cost and Value
This is a product that knows how to help you when you are in pain. It is specifically designed so that it hits the right muscles around your joint. This will speed up the healing process and get you back on your feet much sooner. Along with the consistent heat and the super affordable price tag, this is a product you do not want to miss!
Pros

Consistent comfort

Unique design

Extremely affordable

Maximum mobility

Easy to apply

Cons

Not suitable for sensitive skin

2. Icy Hot Extra Strength

This is a brand that is known for its unique healing powers. The product first delivers a blast of coolness to the injured area. This will help bring down the inflammation and cure your immediate pain. Then the patch warms up to send heat into the injury and increase the blood flow. This will help accelerate the healing process and get you back on your feet in no time!
Expand to see more
Back Injuries
It can be very hard to help ease the discomfort of back injuries as it is such a large surface area. This product was specifically designed to be taped onto your back. As long as the product is in the area where it hurts the most, even if it doesn’t entirely cover the area the medication will radiate and spread throughout the local area. This will work to help relieve your back discomfort.

Muscle Relaxant
When you sustain an injury, the muscles in the area end up seizing because they are stressed out. Other muscles end up working harder and overcompensating in order to protect the muscle from further injury. The medication in this product helps the muscles relax and allow for it to heal properly. When the muscle is relaxed, nutrients that can help it recover can reach the injured site and start the healing process.

Cost and Value
These are a great value considering the pain you are in. A lot of muscle injuries feel awful and make you very uncomfortable. In that sense, any money you are spending to relieve you of that soreness is worth it. This product will last at least eight hours and is very easy to apply. Once it has been stuck onto your skin, it also won’t move around or come off accidentally.
Pros

Trusted brand

Helps muscle relax

Effective relief for back injuries

Easy to apply

Cold first, hot after

Cons

Smells strong

3. Premium Essential Oils & Herbs

Unlike other products, this brand has taken a unique approach to pain relief and created a patch that is completely natural. It uses a host of organic ingredients such as capsicum extract and ginger to alleviate your discomfort. While these ingredients have great healing properties, they are also rich in nutrients that will give your body a boost.
Expand to see more
All Natural
There are many medicated patches that work well and cure your discomfort. However, many people are beginning to become wary about what they are putting into their body. Some medications, when used on a long-term basis, can become harmful to your body. This product is made completely with the use of natural ingredients such as healing herbs and ginseng.

Durable
It can be incredibly frustrating when you are already in pain and the patch that was supposed to alleviate the pain starts to move around. When the patch slips, it is not targeting the proper areas to bring you relief. This product was built to be very strong and durable. It will not slip or move around unless you are intentionally trying to readjust or peel it off.

Cost and Value
This is a great alternative for those people who are looking for effective pain relief but are worried about the side effects of the medication going in their body. It uses red ginger which is a known anti-inflammatory to bring down the swelling and heat in the area of your injury. This can allow you to feel better but also know that you are not putting harmful toxins into your body.
Pros

Premium quality ingredients

Completely natural

Helps with arthritis

Durable material

Cost efficient

Cons

Strong smell of soil

4. Tiger Balm

4. Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm has been a staple in Asian culture for generations and uses a strong motto “it works where it hurts.” Many people know tiger balm simply from the smell, the formula created has a strong and distinct smell that most people associate with as pain relief. In recent years, they have upgraded and evolved into producing patches which work just as well as any of their other products.
Expand to see more
Blood circulation
When your muscles swell, it can require a lot more effort for blood to be pushed through the injured site. This product is able to help restore proper blood circulation by reducing the swelling. This will allow the body to push out the pooled blood in the injured area and refresh the muscles with re-oxygenated blood. It also ensures a clear channel in which nutrients can be delivered to help the healing process.

Reduces Inflammation
Your muscles swell up to protect and offer extra cushioning for the injury, but in doing so greatly restricts the ability for anything to pass through in that area. This particular product is able to reduce some of that inflammation so that your body can continue to function despite the injured area. It also delivers medication to effectively cool down the area thus bringing down your discomfort.

Cost and Value
This is an effective product that does what it claims. It comes in a grease-free formula so that there is no mess left behind. The bandage is also not over soaked in liquids so that it becomes a drippy mess that is hard to apply. The ingredients that go into this patch works to provide your injury with the best environment possible to heal and get you back on your feet.
Pros

Fast acting

Effective pain relief

Mess free

Long lasting

Easy to apply

Cons

Not as powerful as the balm

5. Beyond BodiHeat

5. Beyond BodiHeat
This product has gone through many years of research and planning before being able to hit the shelves. The product is designed by people for the people. It takes advantages of naturally occurring elements in your body and simply boosts those to create an ultimate healing combination. The product is activated by air and can last up to twelve hours once out of the packaging.
Expand to see more
Natural Healing
There are many products that opt to use heat to help your injury. Heat will improve your blood circulation which allows your blood cells to shuttle nutrients to the injured sites while breaking down the toxins. This product is unique in its own way by using the heat generated from your body to spread the warmth. This allows the product to use little to no medication while supporting your recovery.

Mess Free
It can be so frustrating when your pain relief patch moves around. Not only do you have to spend time trying to fix it, but it may also leave a mess on your clothes. Some products contain oil so it leaves a permanent stain on fabrics and on your sports equipment. This product boasts a mess-free formula that can be easily wiped with a wet towel or quickly rinsed off.

Cost and Value
This is a great product as it keeps the users in consideration. The product itself is a patch, however a lot of the ingredients work in conjunction with your natural healing abilities to alleviate your discomfort. Rather than using a large amount of medication, this product uses resources on hand such as body heat to help support your healing process.

Pros

Boosts immune system

Improves blood circulation

Long lasting

Fast acting relief

Mess free

Cons

Expensive

6. Absorbine Jr.

6. Absorbine Jr.
This is a brand that has built up quite a reputation as effective relief for injuries. They have a wide range of products such as topical creams, gels, sprays, and roll on products. Their pain relief patch is no different and is just as effective as all their other items. This product, in particular, works well with sore muscles and arthritis pain.
Expand to see more
Menthol
This product uses Menthol as an active ingredient, which has one of the best cooling out there. The product can penetrate deep into your injury and provide an ice blast to the swollen area. This will bring you immediate comfort while also helping the injured muscles calm down. Once the menthol works and reduces the inflammation, your body can start the healing process.

Grease Free
Many people do not enjoy using patches simply because they can become messy. Some products are doused in liquid so that they are wet and drippy when coming out of the package. Others use different oils in their formulas, which can stain and damage clothing and sports equipment. This product boasts a mess-free formula that has a layer of gel protecting all the ingredients and preventing it from making a mess during the application process.

Cost and Value
This is a wonderful product that is worth every cent you invest. Once the product is applied, it can last up to eight hours and penetrates deep into your skin. The product is sticky enough that once it adheres to your skin, it won’t accidentally be torn off or moved. This provides you with stable and durable relief that can help you heal and start doing the sport you love again.
Pros

Durable

Premium ingredients

Mess free

No grease formula

Cost effective

Cons

Leaves a green tinge that comes off after a few washes

7. Sunny Bay Heat

7. Sunny Bay Heat
This is a convenient product that can be carried around everywhere. Each item is individually labelled and placed in its own packaging so that you can leave one in your office, in your car, and in your gym bag. The formula is also odorless so that no one would be able to tell if you left one somewhere or were using one.
Expand to see more
Muscle Relaxant
A lot of muscle pain and stiffness comes from your muscles seizing up after an intense training session. When the muscles seize, a toxic build-up starts to form and leaves your muscle feeling swollen and uncomfortable. This heat activated product works as a muscle relaxant, where it encourages red blood cells to break down the toxins and restore proper blood flow.

Odor Free
It can be very obvious when you are using a pain relief patch simply because of the strong odor it emits. Usually, it will bring a round of concerned questioning that can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. To avoid having to answer unwanted questions this product is designed to be odor free, allowing you to be discreet while getting the relief you need.

Cost and Value
This product comes with an affordable price tag and should be on the watch list of many people. It can help ease the discomfort of multiple problems such as muscle injury, joint pain, stiffness from exercise, and arthritis to name a few. This product uses oxygen to kick-start the ingredients to becoming hot so that once you apply it, the product can start to work in minutes.
Pros

Odorless formula

Air activating

Self adhesive

Relaxes muscles

Heat generating

Cons

Not hot enough

8. Salonpas Lidocaine

8. Salonpas Lidocaine
This is a brand that has been around for decades. It originated in Japan but has become popular in over fifty countries since. The product boasts a strong formula that helps with the immediate pain and also supports long-term recovery. This product is ideal for muscle strains or injuries received during combat sports. It can also keep the injured muscles in place to prevent further aggravation.
Expand to see more
Numbing
It can be extremely frustrating and stressful when you have a nagging pain that won’t stop regardless of how you position yourself. This product contains lidocaine, which has a slight numbing effect that can help relieve your discomfort. While the surface is numb, the rest of the ingredients will work to help alleviate the rest of the symptoms and support the recovery process.

Gel
A lot of ingredients in pain relief patches require moisture to activate, which is why some of the products come in a pre-soaked formula. This product has engineered a formula that uses gel as the main supply of moisture for the ingredients. There is a sticky side of the product that is to adhere directly onto your skin. The gel helps the ingredients activate while keeping you free from a mess.

Cost and Value

This is a great product that works well to alleviate your discomfort. It is extremely fast activating and can work within five minutes of application. It is designed so that it gives you topical relief immediately before penetrating deeper with healing ingredients. This is a suitable product for athletes and other people who play competitive sports.
Pros

Strong brand image

Numbing effect

Deep penetration

Gel coating

Soothes and relieves

Cons

Expensive

9. Black Ice Medicated

9. Black Ice Medicated
This is a product that is unique in the ingredients it chooses to use. While it is a medicated patch, it also takes advantage of the healing properties of activated charcoal. This product uses medicine where it is needed while using natural ingredients to boost your overall health. The patch can relieve your pain, moisturize, and detoxify!
Expand to see more
Moisturize
Because of the medication most pain relief patches use, it can cause your skin to become very sensitive and dry in that area. This product uses a hydrogel formula that keeps the area hydrated, which can help prevent skin cracking and tearing as you apply more patches. The hydrogel works to protect your skin by adding more moisture to your skin as the medication continues through.

Dexotify
When your muscles are sore or injured, it causes a lot of toxic build-up in your system. More often than not, there is a lot of red blood cells that end up pooling at the injured site. Over time the cells will convert into toxins that will build more and more. This product contains activated charcoal that can help break apart these toxins and encourage the excretion of it.

Cost and Value
While this product is a little more expensive, it goes above and beyond in comparison to other similar products. There are no products out there that can help rid you of your toxins or protect your skin while it is trying to heal. This particular product takes care of your insides and outsides to ensure you are one hundred percent healed.
Pros

High quality ingredients

Activated charcoal

Rehydrates your skin

Cools inflammation

Relieves tension and soreness

Cons

Very expensive

10. WellPatch Heat Therapy

10. WellPatch Heat Therapy
This is a great product that can be used on a day to day basis. As the name implies, this product can be used during therapy to help you recover faster from any injuries you may have. The heat generated from these patches can help your body relax and promote an environment which your muscles can heal.
Expand to see more
Relaxes Muscles
When muscles are injured, they tend to bunch up and create a lot of scar tissue. This makes it incredibly difficult for you to heal both internally and externally. This body works to help the injured muscles relax so that the vessels can actually absorb what they need in order to heal. This can also translate to better flexibility and mobility despite an injury.

Blood Flow
One of the best ways to activate your body’s natural healing process is by increasing the flow of blood. The quicker red blood cells are able to replenish their depleted nutrients, the quicker the nutrients can be transported to where they are needed. This product uses heat as a way to increase the blood flow by warming up injured areas.

Cost and Value
This product is a great item that is worthy of your consideration. It tries to use a drug-free approach to healing your injuries. If you are feeling particularly sore after an intense training session, the heat can also warm up your joints and muscles so that you are more limber. This can prevent you from accidentally hurting yourself when you continue your training.
Pros

Drug free

Great for physiotherapy

Long lasting

Soothes muscle strains

Odor free

Cons

Not as sticky

 

As with any product, there are the chances of having side effects. One of the most important things to be aware of is whether you have any sort of allergies or not. While these products are topical, the medication is being absorbed by your skin. This can increase the chances of your body reacting to a certain ingredient. The key is to understand what ingredients each product contains and make sure you are not allergic to any of them. It is also recommended that if your pain persists after a few days to consult a doctor. These are not designed to substitute for seeing a doctor and can not be used on a long-term basis.

 

 

Criteria For Evaluating
The Best Pain Relief Patches

Camphor

While Camphor is not the most widely used ingredient, it is definitely the most effective in treating pain. When looking for a pain relief patch, try to find something with Camphor. It is a product that is known to have good properties that fight fungus and bacteria while being anti-inflammatory.

Camphor is a strong ingredient that can relieve discomfort and inflammation for up to twelve hours. It is a natural herb that can be found growing outside. It can also be effective in healing any minor burns you may have. The camphor can work to reduce the heat and cool down the inside so the deeper layers do not continue to burn. This will increase the rate of recovery significantly. There are many products that treat joint discomfort whichcontainsn Camphor. Most products that contain camphor deliver icy coolness then treat your injury with heat. This works as a distraction so that the camphor in the product can help start your recovery process.

The oil extracts from Camphor is also a favorite for people suffering from coughs and colds. It has been proven that camphor works to suppress your coughing so that your lungs can breathe normally. It also works as a decongestant and clears your sinuses. When products that contain Camphor are used topically as a muscle rub, it can help to reduce any muscle cramping or stiffness you feel. This is especially useful for athletes after an intense training session.

Lidocaine

People usually become worried or hesitant when using a product that can cause numbness. These worries are valid as a side effect can be that the numbing doesn’t wear off properly or it can take much longer to wear off. However, these side effects rarely happen and there are too many beneficial properties that justify the continued use of Lidocaine. When looking for fast immediate relief, pick a product that contains Lidocaine.

Lidocaine is an active ingredient that provides you with localized numbing. Unlike the numbing creams you get for toothaches and what not, Lidocaine is very surface level. The numbing only occurs right where you applied the patch. This is because the Lidocaine is used to give you instant relief and stop your discomfort. This is not the ingredient that is going to help heal your injury. Most products that contain Lidocaine work in conjunction with other ingredients. This is so when your muscle is numb and less sensitive, the other ingredients can go and repair the damage and help your injury heal.

Menthol

Most products use Menthol as an active ingredient. This is because it works really well in masking your discomfort and distracting you from it. Depending on where you apply it, Menthol delivers an icy blast to the skin so that your nerves seem to dull. The feeling is not the same feeling you get from Lidocaine as Lidocaine really numbs the area. Menthol provides a cool feeling that distracts your nerve receptors from sensing discomfort. Instead, your receptors are focused on the feeling of coolness blowing across your skin, thus distracting you.

Once your muscles are distracted or feel less sensitive, the Menthol penetrates deep into your muscle. When it reaches the injured muscle, it works to cool down the connective tissues that are swollen and burning. Menthol as an active ingredient has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help to relieve your muscles of their discomfort. After a few applications, there should a significant reduction in swelling. Once the swelling stops, the Menthol can aid to restore your mobility and flexibility in that area.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I buy a pain relief patch?
A: There are many places where you can buy patches to relieve your pain. Some of the most common places are your local drug store or supermarket. Large sports stores and nutrition stores will also carry a few brands. However, it is recommended you purchase your product online as there are more options as there is no limitation to shelf space. Online retailers have more extensive brand options and will most likely stock a specific one you’re looking for.

Q: What is a patch test?
A: Patch tests are always recommended for people that have not used pain relief patches before. Instead of sticking the patch onto your skin and experiencing an allergic reaction, simply cut a little piece of the patch and stick it onto your heel. Leave the patch on for twenty minutes and see if there is any reaction. If there is pain or swelling in the area, stop use immediately and consult a doctor. You may have an allergy that you are not aware of. If there is no reaction then the product is safe for you to use.

Q: Can my child use a pain relief patch?
A: Products such as these contain a lot of active ingredients. While children can use them, it is best to consult a physician before actually using one.

Q: How do you use pain relief patches?
A: Usually, these products are individually wrapped. Take one out of the packaging and place it against your skin to make sure the sizing fits. If it’s too big, make adjustments as needed by cutting off what you don’t need. The piece you do not need can be saved and used for next time. Take off the clear protective film and place the wet and sticky side onto your injured area. Flatten and ensure there are no bubbles or corners that have curved up and you are good to go!

Q: Are there any side effects to using pain relief patches?
A: As with everything you do or eat, there is always a chance for side effects. Usually, the side effects you may see are redness and stinging in the area that you have applied the patch. For more severe cases burning and stinging can also occur. When it does, stop use immediately and consult a doctor.

Sources

  1. Alan Carter, How to Use Camphor Safely, Informational,
  2. Cerner Multum, Tiger Balm, Informational,