Ease the Pain: Topical Pain Reliever Review


After beating ourselves up a few days ago, Bob and I scoured our belongings for some pain relief.  Icing our sore muscles definitely felt good, but we also tried a few topical remedies.  A little comparing/contrasting was in order!

The Three Contenders:

  • China Gel
  • Biofreeze
  • Tiger’s Balm


*Note:  If you are interested in reading the labels better, clicking the images will enlarge them.  :)



China Gel

  • It says “A topical pain reliever; utilizing the ancient pain relieving concepts of Chinese herbal medicine”
  • We both describe it as our go-to item when you wish you had an icepack, but don’t.
  • lotion texture, not greasy, feels cold almost immediately
  • We both wash our hand right away, otherwise your fingers get “iced” too




  • It says “Penetrating, long lasting pain relief; pain relieving gel with soothing natural mental and Ilex; Cryotherapy”
  • gel texture, not greasy, cools quickly
  • We both don’t feel Biofreeze lasted as long or was as effective at cooling.


Tiger Balm

  • It says “safe, fast and effective topical pain relief”
  • according to the ingredient list this has both camphor and menthol, just like China Gel, but in greater quantities
  • a salve, harder to spread/rub in
  • takes longer than the others to feel the effect
  • doesn’t feel “cold” like the others; warming feeling when applied, then cools
  • feels surprising good on our sore muscles!


In summary, Bob and I agree that Biofreeze seemed to be the least effective.  China Gel is easiest to apply, and we definitely like the ice-cold feeling.  Tiger Balm is growing on us, as it was the new item in our bunch (we’ve used the others before).  We liked how it eased the aches and pains, and lasted for a good amount of time.  And overall, I wouldn’t want to be using any of these on a consistent basis–only when it’s necessary.

Have you used any of these items?  What’s your opinion?  Anything else out there you’d recommend?

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