I often feel and look like I got crushed by an anvil hours after exercising or even when I wake up the next morning (it gets that real). This is especially true after pole dancing where I often bruise, or hardcore Pilates and H.I.I.T., where my muscles may feel stiff or strained.
Check out this doozie following a pole dancing class:
So, yeah…don’t ever believe the hype that dark skin people can’t bruise but I digress.
Anyway, I’ve amassed an arsenal of sore muscle pain relief products that I want to share them with you because they need angel wings even though they’re inanimate objects.
1. Shea Moisture Joint and Muscle Relief Balm
The Shea Moisture joint and muscle relief balm has a nice lavender and wild orchid scent, and they’ve added shea butter for moisture. As per the container, lavender has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate muscle spasms, shea butter moisturizes and heals skin, and it also contains peppermint, which is anti-inflammatory and good for muscle tension. It’s greasy but there’s no testing on animals and it doesn’t contain petroleum, synthetic fragrance, parabens, gluten, paraffins, phtholates, and other chemicals I can’t pronounce. It’s simple to use. You just rub it into the affected area and wait until that good numbness starts to take effect. I like this stuff because it won’t leave you smelling like an 80-year-old woman (no shade to grandma, but I’m just saying), thanks to the nice floral infusion.
Arnicare is a creamy white homeopathic medicine that is also paraben-free and scent free. It’s good for general massages as well as bruising, swelling and stiffness.
3. Traumeel (by Heel)
Traumeel is similar to Arnicare in that it’s a white, creamy, homeopathic and scentless. I find that it’s excellent for bruises and according to the Vitamin Shoppe, it’s also paraben-free.
4. Tiger Balm Ultra Strength
Tiger Balm Ultra Strength is a miracle in a jar. It’s a white petrolatum-based herbal infusion of goodness. This is my go to for so-sore-that-I-can’t-move muscles.
5. Tiger Balm Cream
The cream is not as strong as the jelly but it still works. Tiger Balm is best for soreness and stiffness but the thing I hate about the cream is that it smells like toothpaste. That’s not the worst smell in the world but c’mon son, you don’t want to walk around with your entire body smelling like toothpaste. Keep this one in the house!
I don’t think any one is better than the other because they’re suited for different things, and different levels of pain, but that’s trial and error based on the individual, hence why I have so many (that and because I’m a product junky). From my experience, my favorites are the Traumeel for bruises and the Tiger Balm Ultra for sore muscles, because it gets that serious for me. The Shea Moisture Balm has the best scent and I enjoy using it for massaging muscles at an intermediate level of pain. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like grease, because I know some of you are texture freaks, then you’re better suited for the creams.