Sweet Sweet Pain Relief!

Pain relievers have been a regular part of my life ever ever since 2 things happened: 1) I got serious about working out and 2) I turned 25 years old.  Getting older makes going hard in the gym and races more difficult because recovery takes longer and longer as each year passes by.  Enter Pain Relievers! Outside of the daily Advil I sometimes take after arduous activity, pain relief applications like the ones seen in the picture below are a go-to after a long run, just before a basketball game or hard workout, or as a way to fall asleep.  I've learned over the last few weeks that there are a bunch of pain relief options out there, so I decided to compare a few as an avid user of the product overall.  Each one of these pain relievers have things I like and dislike.  It essentially comes down to preferences, but some are better than others in particular situations, as I found out the hard way...


The Products

Here are the products I reviewed: dōTERRA Deep Blue Rub; Battle Balm; Salonpas; and the old favorite Icy-Hot.

The dōTerra Deep Blue Rub is a blue cream that contains a bunch of ingredients as seen below.  This stuff is pretty strong with a familiar and potent smell.  It is very similar to the creams of Bengay and Icy-Hot in terms of the scent, probably because of the Menthol which is a common ingredient found in each one of these products.  The Ice-Hot Product I tried was the no mess applicator which provides the pain reliever in a clear liquid form.  Salonpas patches themselves come in an airtight package that contains the smell until the patch is applied.  Once applied, Salonpas is similar in smell to Tigerbalm, a staple in the households of my asian friends and family.  


The application of each pain reliever provides a different benefit.  With dōTERRA, the blue rub allows for you to control the amount of cream applied to each area.  You can really slather this stuff on as quickly as you can squeeze it from the tube.  The Battle Balm comes in what looks like a chap-stick-like container. But unlike a chapstick, this version is more like a push pop, which could be problematic if you over push since there is no retractor to pull the chap-stick-like substance back into the container.  All that said, dōTERRA is strong! of all the products I tried, this one provided the deepest pain relief sensation.  This is both a good and a bad thing, because the cream is also very very hard to wash off of your hands.  If you do not thoroughly wash your hands after applying the blue rub, don't be surprised if you feel a tingly/burning sensation on sensitive areas like your eyes. I learned this lesson the hard way.  The no mess applicator of Ice-Hot allowed me to apply the right amount of pain relief without worrying about getting any on my hands.  The Salonpas patch also allows for steady application without the mess, and the patch also contains the applicator to your skin.  Sometimes I would get the pain reliever on my clothes and it would smell all day.  For the Salonpas patches, once I was done I would take it off and throw it away..no more smell! 


In the picture above you get a since of the texture I was dealing with in this comparison.  Price wise, Salonpas and Icy-Hot are cheaper and more available in stores just about everywhere.  DōTERRA and Battle Balm can be found online, but are a little more pricey, but they contain more ingredients that are suppose help people recover better and faster.  What I like about these two is that both seem to do well in preventing muscle tightness, a common problem I have especially during hard training weeks.  While icy-hot and salonpas do well to mask and relieve pain temporarily, I plan to use battle balm and dōTERRA as a way to relieve and prevent muscle tightness and deeper strains I get on a regular basis.  


If you are a user of any of these products, let me know what you think! Thanks!