Whether it’s a flare-up from an old injury or the result of a tech-heavy lifestyle (that makes most of us, right?), we have some tried-and-true solutions for dealing with persistent pain in your neck and shoulders. These five topical treatments use cooling and warming ingredients to temporarily block pain signals from traveling to your brain (thereby creating a welcome diversion). Combined with a few minutes of massage during application, you’ll feel the tension start to melt away.
Our 5 Go-To Products for Soothing Chronic Shoulder Pain
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel
This gel was recommended to us by our physical therapist earlier this year and we’ve kept it in steady rotation ever since. Packed with menthol, it provides near-immediate relief that can only be described as somewhere between a comfortable numbing and a tingling sensation. We also like that it comes with a rollerball applicator so there’s never any mess when using it.
Indie Lee I-recover Mind & Body Gel
If you’re concerned about ingredients, here’s a more natural alternative for you. Created by a longtime arthritis sufferer, this comforting blend of arnica, black pepper and lavender oil is immediately soothing on your skin (and your senses). Massage it onto the back of your neck and upper shoulders twice a day to relieve tension.
Boiron Anricare Gel
Another natural remedy, this gel also employs arnica (a commonly used homeopathic treatment for muscle pain and stiffness). Full disclosure: In our experience, this formula has been a bit, shall we say, gentler than the others on this list (though some 3,000 reviewers on Amazon claim otherwise). That said, it's definitely one of the most cosmetically elegant, with a fast-absorbing texture that’s neither sticky nor greasy and with no telltale scent to speak of.
Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain-relieving Gel
While the other treatments on this list provide only a cooling sensation, this one warms up gradually as it absorbs into your skin thanks to a blend of camphor, menthol and capsaicin. We find this to be particularly effective for easing deeper pains, so we save it for those extra-tense days when we need a bit more relief.
Lord Jones High Cbd Formula Body Lotion
No matter where you stand on CBD (for the record, we’re cautiously optimistic), we’re confident that you’ll enjoy using this lotion. It’s rich but fast-absorbing and deeply hydrating, and it has a light cooling effect thanks to the menthyl ethylamido oxalate in the formula. Each bottle contains 100 milligrams of broad spectrum CBD (which equates to roughly two milligrams per pump), and we’ve really come to relish our post-shower ritual of massaging this into our shoulders every night.