The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

The BEST Joint & Muscle Pain Topical Creams


I have written extensively on the nature of acute and chronic pain on my blog Pain of musculoskeletal origin (emanating from muscle, ligaments, tendon, cartilage, and/or bone) occurs when injured or degenerated structures stimulate exposed nerve endings. Inflammation — the inflammatory reaction the body generates in response to irritation– contributes to some of that pain signal as well.

As pain becomes chronic, neurological factors start to appear: the patient “learns” to expect the pain, and now the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) are involved.

Whether your pain is acute or chronic, there is much you can do yourself to manage and even eliminate pain.

A sound, self-care pain management routine includes:

-Daily infusion of plant-based nutrients (super foods, anti-oxidant rich)
-Regular movement — exercise, walking, anything you are able to do despite your pain;
-Restful sleep, at least 8 hours/day
-Calorie restriction; i.e. intermittent fasting at times
-Sunshine exposure
-Social fulfillment; laughter
-Home therapy:  traction, stretches, massage  etc.
-Supplements and Topical pain relief products

Today let’s talk about topical pain relief.

I have found three types of pain relief topical products that work particularly well. They work using different approaches; some may work better than others depending on the type of pain you have.

The first one is called Penetrex.  Its main, active ingredients include Vitamin B6, Arnica, MSM, Cetyl Myristoleate, Glucosamine and Boswellia Serrata.  You can get it on Amazon without a doctor’s prescription (it’s a top seller).  The effects of these ingredients are listed below.

Vitamin B6 plays a role in the synthesis and metabolism of certain nerve signaling molecules, among other things. Since pain is nerve dependent, Vitamin B6 can play a supportive role.

Arnica is a plant with daisy-like yellow flowers and is native to Europe and Russia. It has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for pain, bruises, rashes and other inflammatory conditions

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally-occurring substance found in many types of foods and provides sulfur, a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO) is a medium-chain fatty acid found in some animals. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever, as well as being an immune system modulator. In 2002, a double blind study of 64 people with chronic knee pain, published in the Journal of Rheumatology concluded that CMO “provided a significant functional improvement in range of motion VS placebo.” In fact, the study concluded that CMO “may be an alternative to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis.”

Glucosamine is a constituent of cartilage. It helps cartilage retain its resiliency/elasticity in response to pressure.

Boswellia Serrata comes from the Frankincense tree. It has been used for centuries to reduce pain and inflammation.

The advantage Penetrex has over other pain creams is that is is specially formulated to deliver these ingredients past the dermal layer, where it is picked up by local circulation and delivered to the target area.


Penetrex, the top selling pain relief ointment on Amazon.

For more information on Penetrex, click here.

The second topical pain reliever is Comfrey Root salve.  Comfrey is a plant native to Europe, and like many of its herbal relatives has been used for centuries to treat muscle and bone pain.  Comfrey is high in alkaloids, which are toxic to the liver in high doses.  Because of this you should not use comfrey root orally or on large, open cuts.

Comfrey root works by speeding up cellular turnover during tissue repair– it helps dead cells slough away and makes room for new cells.  Allantoin is the biochemical responsible for this effect.  It is a common ingredient in moisturizers.

The two products that feature comfrey root are Dr. Christopher’s Formula and Dr. Theiss Beinwell Salbe.


Dr. Theiss Beinwell Salbe, a popular comfrey root salve imported from Germany, 3.5 oz.


A synergistic ointment that promotes healing and pain relief of tissues.

If you want to enhance the effect of any topical pain relief cream or ointment like the ones above, use an infrared heat lamp.  Rub Penetrex or Comfrey Root ointment generously on the painful area, and then lie under the lamp for about 20 minutes.  The infrared heat increases circulation and opens pores, allowing more of the active ingredients to reach the painful muscles and joints.


Infrared heat lamp delivers deep, healing infrared light to target tissues.

The infrared lamp below is exactly what I use in my office. It is professional grade, used by many chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists, and you don’t need to be a doctor to get one.


The two-head infrared heat lamp allows you to treat two areas simultaneously, like the low back and the knee.


The last topical pain relief cream I recommend to patients is capsaicin cream.

Capsaicin is the compound found in peppers that give them their hot quality.   Research shows that, due to its molecular structure, capsaicin molecules can bind to nerve junctions, blocking the pain transmitter known as substance p, thus interfering with pain transmission.

Use capsaicin cream if your pain is coming mostly from a pinched or irritated nerve.  It may be effective for carpal tunnel syndrome and shooting type pains where the nerve is firing abnormally.


Capzasin is more appropriate for nerve pain.

In summary, if you have chronic pain, perhaps that flares up on occasion, having one of these three topical pain relief products handy can help you get through the episode and save your day!

For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit


The information contained in this email and on is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals. participates in the Amazon affiliate program. Any product on this website that is purchased through an Amazon affiliate link may result in a small affiliate commission to us. This revenue helps us cover the costs of producing content for this site. Thank you for your support.