With the array of pain relief creams on the market, finding an effective product can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips for choosing a cream that will target your pain: Identify your pain type. Is it muscle soreness, arthritis, neuropathy? Matching the ingredients to the pain is key. Menthol and camphor creams numb pain, capsaicin cream blocks pain signals, arthritis creams reduce inflammation. Consider added ingredients. Creams with glucosamine and chondroitin can hydrate joints. Arnica, MSM, and celadrin provide anti-inflammatory effects. Opt for natural plant-based ingredients when possible. Check labeling. Ensure the product is labeled for your type of pain. Topical creams sell OTC at various strengths. Stronger prescription creams are available for severe or chronic pain. Read reviews. Check reputable sites to see what real customers say about a cream’s relief power, scent, greasiness and ease of use. Look for consistently positive feedback. Test absorbency. Rub a small amount on your forearm. It should absorb quickly without leaving residue. Heavy, greasy creams can be messy and rub off on clothes. Finding your perfect match may require trying a few options. But a quality pain relief cream can provide targeted relief without the side effects of oral medication.