Best Muscle Relaxer Gels on the Market

Table of Contents

Best Muscle Relaxer Gels on the Market

Table of Contents

Applying an effective muscle rub or gel is a good post-workout routine. It can penetrate the site of pain to increase circulation and warm the muscles. As a result, it speeds up muscle repair and recovery.

However, which muscle relaxer gel should you choose with plenty of options in the market? Some formulas tend to be powerfully scented, while others are too greasy. We also understand trying something new can be frustrating.

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Don’t worry, though. We’ve done the testing, research, and reviews for you, and we’re excited to share our thoughts. Below is a list of some commonly prescribed muscle relaxants in the form of gel, balm, and muscle rub cream.

We’ll also discuss what a muscle relaxant is, how it works, and which is best for different types of muscle pain. Ready? Let’s get started!

What Is a Muscle Relaxant?

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A muscle relaxant is a common medication to ease muscle spasms (caused by a spine-related problem) and back or neck pain. It is the third-most commonly prescribed medication for low back pain [1,2]

A muscle spasm means one or more of your muscles contract, and the cramping or twitching is out of your control. Often, it may limit your mobility because of the severe pain.

Muscle relaxants have a soothing effect. They also prevent the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. As a result, muscles become less stiff or tense. In turn, this reduces discomfort and pain.

Additionally, people use it for physical therapy, rest, and other measures to relieve discomfort. Medical experts typically prescribe this for short-term use.

11 Best Muscle Relaxer Gels on the Market [For 2023]


1. ChemiPower CarnoSport

Why We Picked It

This doping-free sports gel reduces muscle fatigue, increases muscle performance, shortens downtime, and accelerates muscle recovery.

CarnoSport developed this in cooperation with Tartu Pharmacology Institute, and the sports federations approved this for use. You can also use it regardless of the type of competition and difficulty level of the sport.

What’s unique about this sports gel is that it contains Carnosine. A protein building block is found in the muscles, brain, heart, and other body parts. One of its most important roles in the muscle cells is as a buffering agent, maintaining muscle functions. [3]

To use CarnoSport, apply it 60 minutes before or after a workout for accelerated recovery. Use a small palmful of the gel and apply it directly on targeted areas.


  • Increases muscle performance
  • Accelerates muscle recovery and shortens downtime
  • Improves tendon, joint, and ligament health
  • Longer-term health and wellness
  • Clean sport


  • None

2. Biofreeze Pain Relief Muscle Rub Gel

Why We Picked It

You can apply this pain-relieving gel on small or large muscle areas. It’s a clinically-recommended brand, trusted by massage therapists, podiatrists, athletic trainers, pharmacists, and chiropractors.

It contains USP-grade menthol, which cools the pain and overrides the pain signal. Some professional athletes also use this muscle rub gel before or after practice to recover quickly.


  • Fast-acting cooling formula
  • Budget-friendly
  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of NSAIDs
  • Offers cooling relief


  • It might be too intense for sensitive skin.

3. Penetrex Pain Relief Cream

Why We Picked It

This muscle relaxant helps ease pain across various conditions. It also contains soothing ingredients, and the texture isn’t greasy.

The Penetrex Pain Relief Cream contains a proprietary blend of arnica, MSM, B6, and Vitamin B6 to penetrate the skin. It also reduces muscle and joint discomfort at its source.


  • Non-greasy, non-sticky
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan solution
  • Eases joint and muscle pain without the burn
  • No strong scent


  • Small container for the price

4. Blue Emu Analgesic Cream For Joint and Muscle Aches

Why We Picked It

The remarkable thing about this analgesic cream is it contains emu oil, which acts as a carrier oil for glucosamine, dimethyl sulfone (MSM), and aloe vera. All these ingredients deeply penetrate the skin and the muscle for fast pain relief.

It relieves joint and muscle aches and can be applied from head to toe. Plus, it moisturizes weathered, chapped, and dry skin. This cream makes it an ideal choice even during colder months.


  • Fast-acting relief
  • No fragrance
  • Rejuvenates and moisturizes


  • Not cruelty-free 
  • Not vegan

5. Boiron Arnicare Gel

Why We Picked It

The key ingredient in this muscle relaxant is Arnica montana, which has been topically used for many conditions. These include muscle aches, superficial phlebitis, sprains, bruises, and joint pain. [5]

Boiron Arnicare Gel is homeopathic. So you don’t have to worry about drug interactions or contraindications. It also has a low risk of side effects. This product is also effective for post-surgery healing.


  • Plant-based active ingredient 
  • Good for post-surgery healing
  • Affordable
  • Water-based and fast-absorbing
  • Unscented


  • No warming or cooling sensation

6. Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Ointment

Why We Picked It

If you’re looking for a classic muscle relaxant, look no further. The Tiger Balm pain relieving ointment has been around for years; you would probably recognize its unique scent.

The main ingredients are menthol and camphor, which provide warmth and open blood vessels. Together, they help increase circulation and loosen stiff joints.

Take a small amount of this ointment from its tiny jar and massage it into your skin. Let it fully absorb for a while, and you’ll feel a warming, tingling, and cooling effect. This effect may relieve some effects of joint pain or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or muscle fever.

According to the manufacturer, you can repeat the application of this ointment up to four times per day. Avoid using it alongside other products that contain similar ingredients, like Bio-Freeze and Icy-Hot.


  • Made with menthol and camphor
  • Century-old topical remedies (trusted)
  • A little goes a long way.


  • Very few have red or irritated skin after using it.

7. Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel

Why We Picked It

This gel effectively relieves pain, much so that massage and physical therapists recommend it. Its pain-relieving effects are also made possible because of these contents: aloe vera, menthol, yucca, witch hazel, camphor, and other plant sources.

Another nice thing about the Sombra Warm Therapy Gel is that it feels creamier and lighter than similar gels, such as the Biofreeze. Yet, it provides the same warming, tingly sensation.


  • Fast pain relief action
  • Speeds up recovery
  • Pleasant smell
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • It has a creamy texture.
  • Light on the skin


  • Because of its powerful tingly sensation effect, you must wash your hands after using the gel and before touching your face or eyes.

8. Noxicare’s Natural Pain Relief Cream

Why We Picked It

One of the best muscle rubs on the market today, this product contains natural ingredients for effective pain relief, including turmeric extract. Such is recognized for its anti-inflammatory effect.

The product also contains holy basil, ginger, Boswellia, lipoic acids, and rosemary extract. These natural ingredients work together, giving this muscle rub anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

It also contains no glycol or parabens, so it’s safe on your skin. The ingredient list is simple: A board-certified interventional pain management specialist and a Harvard-trained doctor developed its formula. Therefore, they created it with a keen eye toward relieving discomfort.


  • No glycol or parabens
  • Simple ingredient list (natural)
  • Effective pain relief
  • Mon-greasy 
  • Odorless 


  • Might stain fabrics

9. The FeelGood Lab Natural Pain Cream

Why We Picked It

This natural pain cream helps soothe aching muscles. It is also FDA-registered to relieve backache pain and arthritis. It doesn’t have a strong scent and even contains natural ingredients, including menthol, aloe vera, turmeric, calendula, arnica, and more.

Additionally, renowned pharmacist Gene Gresh developed this product after decades of formulating pain relievers.


  • Natural formula
  • It contains a blend of 30 purposeful botanicals, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Free of junk, phthalates, GMOs, parabens, and artificial fragrances
  • FDA-registered to relieve backache
  • All it takes is a dab, and it spreads well.


  • Its pain-relieving effects are less fast-acting or evident than other muscle rubs in this list.

10. doTERRA Deep Blue Rub

Why We Picked It

The doTERRA Deep Blue Rub can relieve sore muscles and pain. Its key ingredients are peppermint, camphor, blue tansy, osmanthus, helichrysum, and German chamomile. 

When you first apply this on your skin or the affected area that’s hurting, you’ll feel cold on contact. It could also be due to its ingredients in wintergreen, peppermint, and blue chamomile.

As its product name implies, it targets deeper spots of the muscle that some rubs take a long time or has difficulty reaching.

However, don’t worry about leaving your skin greasy. This muscle rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients, leaving your skin feeling soft. As a result, it makes it an ideal choice for sports practitioners and massage therapists.


  • Helps relieve pain
  • Act as a moisturizing on the skin
  • It has a cooling effect.
  • Soothes aching joints and muscles


  • A little expensive vs. other brands

11. Aspercreme Pain Relief Cream With Lidocaine

Why We Picked It

This pain relieving cream contains maximum-strength OTC lidocaine, a medication used to help with pain and itchiness. It can also reduce joint pain and minor muscle pain.

This cream comes with aloe vera for a moisturizing effect. It has no scent for discreet pain relief when you’re outside or need it the most.

Before using this cream:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Apply it topically by squeezing a small amount onto a sterile gauze pad and the affected area.
  3. Keep the cream away from your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Apply no more than four times daily.


  • Targets pain in the arms, shoulders, neck, legs, hands, feet, back, and wrists
  • Non-greasy
  • Unscented
  • Fast-acting


  • The active ingredient doesn’t address inflammation
  • Not marketed for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding

3 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Muscle Relaxants

1. Concentration

Concentrating muscle relaxants strongly affect how it is absorbed into the skin and, eventually, into the tissues.

2. Formula and Ingredients

The ingredients and formulation are also essential for the sensation a gel or cream brings and skin penetration. The gel is more effective than cream as they absorb faster. It’s also light on the skin.

3. Blood Flow

There’s a better chance of medication being absorbed in the body if blood flow to the affected area increases. You can do this by exercise, a massage, a hot shower, or a heat pack.

Motion Is Lotion: The Healing Power of Movement

While all these muscle rubs work great in easing pain or as a muscle relaxant, physical activity remains one of the best tools in your arsenal. When you’re not moving your body regularly, your muscles and tissues harden.

So, it’s essential to move or exercise for inflammation. It brings blood to body areas that are not getting enough, keeping the musculoskeletal system lubricated.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans indicate that adults require at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening training per week. [5] It may sound like a lot, but you can complete it in stages. You can divide it into 30 minutes daily, five days a week.

Final Verdict: Which is the Best Muscle Relaxer?


It’s not easy to declare one muscle relaxer is better than the other, as each has its uses and advantages. Choosing one from among this list of the best muscle relaxer gels on the market will eventually depend entirely on your pain level and specific condition. 

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider. For more chronic pain where muscle rubs just won’t cut it, your doctor may recommend something more potent, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Looking for an effective and safe muscle relaxer? Check out ChemiPower’s CarnoSport 

It’s a 100% doping-free muscle gel ideal for tournaments and improves tendon, ligament, and joint health.