9 Best Arthritis Topical Creams (2021 Guide)

9 Best Arthritis Topical Creams (2019 Guide)

Are you struggling without joint pain? A topical pain reliever is the easiest choice.

But what kind of products should you use?

Well – it’s time to find out the 9 best arthritis topical creams I personally tried.

Note: These recommendations are based on my personal experience + research.


What You Will Find In This Article

I would divide my recommendations in 4 main chapters:

  1. What Makes A Good Arthritis Cream?
  2. Best 9 Topical Creams
  3. My #1 Recommendation For Arthritis
  4. My Final Verdict

But first – let’s see what you should loo at, when choosing a cream.


What Makes A Good Arthritis Cream?

Before I show you my top recommendations – here are the 7 factors I considered when picking the products on this list:

  1. Ingredients (number + strength)
  2. Price (for the quantity)
  3. Per cent of positive and negative reviews
  4. Effects (in my case)
  5. How long lasts the effect
  6. Clinical evidence behind
  7. Money back guarantee

Basically – a good cream should be rated as high as possible in each of these chapters.

I created this list based on these 7 criteria.

So here are how I see the top 9 creams for arthritis at this point.


#1 Pick – Corganics

Even though it’s not a famous pain reliever – Corganics is my personal favorite.

My Corganics Relief Cream Review - The Best Cream I Found So FarIn terms of creams, at least:

  • longest effect among all creams I tried
  • works very fast (5-10 minutes)
  • money back guarantee (90 days)

So if you want a quality arthritis cream – this is my #1 recommendation at this point.

But it’s not all about pain.

Corganics also helps work outs and gym lovers (by increasing endurance before exercising).

So in terms of price/effect – it’s the best topical reliever I know.

1. Ingredients: Menthol and several inactive substances (not very impressive).

2. How It Works: 9 out of 10

It’s surely not the perfect product – but I think it’s way better than others:

  • decreased my pain from a 7 to a 4
  • effect lasts longer than in most creams
  • you need to apply it just about 2 times  day

So overall – I don’t know an arthritis cream that works better (for me at least).

3. Best For: Any type or arthritis pain (whether it’s inflammatory or not).

It’s also effective for knee or joint pain – but also for better workout endurance.

4. Price: Starting from $0.75 (for the 5g size) to $214 (for the galoon).

See My Full Review Here

  • Pretty fast effect (5-10 minutes)
  • Relief lasts longer than with most creams
  • Money back guarantee (90 days)
  • Also helpful for athletes or people who work out
  • Really good price
  • Many positive reviews and praises
  • Formula isn’t very impressive
  • Shipping isn’t always free



#2 – Flexiseq

This cream is surely among my favorite products.

And that’s mostly because of the special technology it uses:

  • works in a physical way
  • made of oily droplets that penetrate the skin
  • they build a lubricating layer around cartilages
  • in this way, flexibility improves

Considering its special formula, Flexiseq has 2 major advantages:

  1. Absolutely no side effect
  2. Works in 5-10 minutes

But as you might expect, this innovative product comes with a matching (high) price.

And since it’s not an US product – it costs even more here.

1. Ingredients: “Sequessomes” and some inactive ingredients.

2. How It Works: 8.75 out of 10

I personally was quite satisfied with it:

  • fast and pretty durable effect
  • doesn’t numb the area around

3. Best For: All kind of joint pain, but it’s not very effective for workouts or injuries.

4. Price: $18 for 1.7 oz

See My Full Review Here

  • Excellent and innovative formula
  • Side effects are impossible
  • Strong effect
  • Works within minutes (from the first use)
  • Several studies behind
  • Pretty expensive
  • Little quantity per tube (no larger size available)
  • Leaves skin sticky and greasy


#3 – Blue Emu

That’s surely my favorite product among popular creams.

You will find more famous creams on this list below – but Blue Emu is better, in my opinion:

  • based on an exotic ingredient
  • not the same boring formula as in most products
  • pretty intense effect

So basically – Blue Emu is more than a decent product.

It’s not the cheapest cream on the market (considering it’s based on an exotic ingredient).

But even so, it may be worth it in some cases.

1. Ingredients: Emu Oil, Glucosamine Sulfate and inactive ingredients

2. How It Works: 8 out of 10

In my opinion, it’s a decent pain reliever:

  • decreases the pain pretty well
  • doesn’t freeze the area around

Just keep in mind that it’s not the kind of cream to work instantly. It might need a few days.

3. Best For: Arthritis forms that aren’t very severe.

4. Price: $35 for 12 oz

See My Full Review Here

  • Different formula and ingredients
  • Light texture and no smell
  • Relieves the pain quite well
  • Many positive reviews
  • Needs a few days to start working (pretty slow)
  • A bit expensive
  • Blue color that looks unnatural


#4 – Australian Dream

The Australian-made formula became really popular lately.

And even so – I do admit it’s quite a good pain reliever:

  • powerful ingredients and formula
  • 2 different versions
  • effect is pretty good in terms of intensity

However, Australian Dream has one major downside.

In terms of quantity, it’s one of the priciest topical products I tried.

That’s why it’s not higher on my list – it’s not accessible for every budget.

1. Ingredients: Histamine Dihydrochloride and some inactive ingredients.

2. How It Works: 8 out of 10

Regarding intensity – it’s pretty good. What I don’t like so much is its durability:

  • lasts about 3-4 hours
  • you need to reapply it several times a day

However – it’s surely far from the worst cream at this chapter.

3. Best For: Joint pain or arthritis forms that aren’t very severe.

4. Price: $24 for 2 oz

See My Full Review Here

  • Interesting formula 
  • Main ingredient is pretty powerful
  • Very light texture and soaks in easily
  • Works pretty fast
  • Price is really high
  • Its versions for back and arthritis have different concentrations


#5 – Biofreeze

Even though it’s not the strongest product – Biofreeze deserves to be among the top rated arthritis creams:

  • Does Biofreeze Work For Real? (My Personal Review)pretty popular
  • extremely low price
  • works within minutes

But as you might guess – its effect isn’t very strong. 

Also, it doesn’t last for a long time (compared to the previous creams).

However – its growing popularity is a sign that it’s still a good product.

1. Ingredients: Menthol and a few inactive compounds.

2. How It Works: 7 out of 10

It’s not my favorite product at this chapter:

  • works by numbing the painful area
  • the effect appears very fast
  • however, it only lasts for 1-2 hours (at most)

3. Best For: Joint pain that isn’t caused by arthritis.

I wouldn’t recommend it in real forms of arthritis (way too weak).

4. Price: Starting from $11

See My Full Review Here

  • Starts working very fast (1-2 minutes)
  • Very popular choice
  • 3 forms available (spray/roll-on/cream)
  • Excellent price
  • Weak ingredients
  • Strong is way too strong and persistent
  • Not effective for lots of people
  • Works by freezing and numbing the area where it’s applied


#6 – China Gel

Though it’s not my favorite cream, China Gel is worth being on this list.

My China Gel Review - Does It Really Help?In terms of effect – it’s quite potent:

  • relieves the pain fast enough
  • works from the start
  • effect lasts a few hours

As I said – it’s surely not the best product you can get.

But considering it’s pretty affordable, I don’t see it as such a bad choice.

1. Ingredients: Camphor and menthol mostly.

2. How It Works: 7 out of 10

It’s pretty similar to Biofreeze, the previous product:

  • only numbs the painful area
  • you need to reapply it several times a day

3. Best For: Minor injuries or joint pain that isn’t caused by severe arthritis.

4. Price: $24

See My Full Review Here

  • Fast effect (but not very long lasting)
  • Decent formula, compared to others
  • High concentrations
  • Gets absorbed very fast
  • Ingredients are quite basic
  • Very intense smell
  • Works by numbing the whole area


#7 – Penetrex

This is surely one of the most popular pain creams ever.

Penetrex VS Biofreeze - Which Is Better? (Personal Review)But even so – Penetrex is only the #7 because it’s not the best cream I tried:

  • doesn’t work from the first try (in my case at least)
  • needs a few days to soak in
  • only stars working afterwards

As I said, it doesn’t have the most intense effect ever.

But that pretty much depends – since there are many satisfied customers.

Also, Penetrex isn’t the cheapest cream (in terms of quantity). But some people say it’s worth the money.

1. Ingredients: Arnica and other less important compounds.

2. How It Works: 8 out of 10

It has some good points here:

  • doesn’t freeze the painful area
  • improves the painful symptoms
  • effect lasts about 2-3 hours

3. Best For: Joint pain caused by inflammation, but also minor injuries or back pain.

4. Price: About $20 (for 2 oz)

See My Full Review Here

  • Really popular among customers
  • Soaks in pretty fast
  • Relieves the pain (partially)
  • Based on natural ingredients
  • Needs some days to start working
  • You have to reapply it several times a day
  • A bit pricey


#8 – Theraworx Relief

Here’s another really popular pain reliever.

However, Theraworx is at the bottom of this list for some clear reasons:

  • only effective in certain types of pain
  • rather works for cramps than for arthritis
  • not effective in every case

Basically – it’s designed for pain caused by a magnesium deficiency.

Theraworx also works for joint pain, but it’s not as strong as other creams. 

1. Ingredients: Magnesium sulfate and a few inactive substances.

2. How It Works: 6 out of 10

As I said – it’s mostly effective in a lack of magnesium. But even so:

  • just a short term solution
  • dosages are extremely little (homeopathic remedy)

3. Best For: Muscular pain and cramps caused by a magnesium deficiency.

It has a weaker effect for joint pain.

4. Price: Around $20

See My Full Review Here

  • Has a clinical trail going on
  • Effect appears pretty soon
  • Enough positive reviews
  • Pretty weak formula with low dosages
  • Only works for magnesium deficiency pain
  • Effective for a few hours (at most)
  • Needs to be reapplied a lot of times


#9 – Flexdermal

This product is surely not among my favorite creams.

However – I included it on this list due to its popularity (and the fact that many websites promote it).

But judging after its formula, it’s not very strong:

  • effect only lasts about 1 hour
  • works in 10-15 minutes

Considering it’s such a pricey product – I wouldn’t really recommend it as a first choice.

1. Ingredients: Menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oil

2. How It Works: 5 out of 10

In my case – it wasn’t very effective:

  • doesn’t relieve the pain as well as others
  • effect lasts shorter
  • doesn’t decrease inflammation

3. Best For: Minor forms of arthritis and joint paint.

4. Price: Around $30

See My Full Review Here

  • Pretty good ingredients
  • Easy to soak in
  • Works fast enough (10 minutes)
  • Very short effect (1 hour in my case)
  • Needs to be reapplied frequently
  • Very little info on the company behind
  • Really expensive
  • Only available on its official page


My #1 Recommendation For Arthritis

Now – out of the 9 creams above, some are really effective for joint pain.

But here’s the actual thing:

I would never recommend a cream as a #1 choice in arthritis/joint pain. At least not alone:

  1. Creams are meant to treat the pain temporarily.
  2. Actually, they only hide the pain for a few hours.
  3. They do nothing for the real cause behind.
  4. In other words, they only work on the outside.
  5. In this way, the internal problem can get worse on the long term.
  6. That’s because it’s not treated (since creams are only treating the pain).

So basically – a cream will never treat arthritis.

It will only hide the symptom, so that it’s not so bothering anymore. 

But on the long term – this can be a lot more dangerous, as the real problem inside usually makes progresses.

So what should you choose instead? A SUPPLEMENT:

  • treats the real cause of the pain
  • works from the inside on the outside
  • effect lasts much longer (and on the long term)
  • easier to use (2-3 pills per day vs 4-5 applications)
  • better price in many cases

Now – you can associate a cream with a supplement.

But the point is – you shouldn’t use the cream alone, because it can do you more harm on the long term.

On the other hand, a supplement can work really well even if it’s used alone. So it’s a lot more worth it.




My Verdict – What’s The Best Arthritis Cream?

Short answer: My personal pick is Corganics – because it had the best features in my case:

  • effect comes up really fast
  • relief lasts longer than in most creams
  • really affordable

However – all the products from above have good features. That’s why they’re on this list, after all.

But before you choose any cream, my advice is to analyze your problem really well.

If you have arthritis or a chronic pain – none of these cream will make miracles:

  1. Meant to work on the outside only.
  2. Don’t treat the real cause of the pain.
  3. Need to be reapplied constantly.

Basically – if you stop using the cream for 1 day, the pain will come back.

On the other hand, that doesn’t happen with a supplement.

So here’s the advice I have for you (if you have arthritis/joint pain):

  1. Choose a joint supplement instead of a cream.
  2. You can find my top picks here.
  3. They work much better on the long term.
  4. Also, they treat the actual condition (not just the symptom).
  5. You can use a cream additionally.

In this way – you would manage to keep your condition under control.

Especially if you’re patient and follow the treatment for more than 1 month (which is necessary with supplements).

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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4 Responses

  1. Ken says:

    Yes I agree with you that corganics is the best arthritis cream. Have bought it once by chance and I’m using it almost daily now. I try to make sure I never run out of it, it’s my miracle maker. I’m also taking prescribed drugs but they don’t see to help as much. Maybe I should try some of the supplements you recommend, I never took any supplement, just the prescribed drugs but the effect isn’t always good enough. Thank you for this guide it is extremely helpful.

  2. Heather Pharm.D. says:

    Hi Ken, thanks for letting me know your opinion. It’s great to hear Corganics helps, at this point it’s my top recommended arthritis cream.

    Regarding supplements, my advice is to give them a try – especially if you never tried any. You don’t have to give up your prescribed treatment, I don’t even recommend that. Just continue to use the drugs you’re taking (and the cream) – and add the supplement to your schedule as well.

    You didn’t mention what kind of arthritis you have, so I can’t give you a clear recommendation. But here are my favorite supplements for arthritis in general – you will surely find the suitable product for your form.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Harrie Mitchell says:

    Thank you Heather for your recommendations! I am using Australian Dream to treat my knee soreness that comes by every now and then. But recently it stopped being as effective as in the past. It helps adding more but I consume a bottle very fast and I cannot buy it so often (I’m retired and don’t have big savings). 

    I’m happy about coming across your article because you revealed something I was not aware of – that supplements are better than a cream. When I think about it, it makes sense, so you must be right. I felt more comfortable using a cream, but if I only need to take a couple of pills per day and get a better relief, I’m in! Thank you for the advice, I’ll be looking into the supplements you recommend.

  4. Heather Pharm.D. says:

    Hello Harrie. Australian Dream is an effective cream for joint pain, but a bit pricey. Also, its biggest problem is that it’s only a temporary pain reliever – so it doesn’t help the problem inside at all. But that’s available for almost any cream, actually (Flexiseq is one of the exceptions).

    On the other hand, supplements and pills are a real remedy for arthritis. Ever wondered why your doctor always prescribes pills, besides gels and creams? It’s because pills treat the problem from the inside, while topical products are just for a temporary relief. So until the pills start doing their job, the cream helps decrease the pain.

    I don’t know what kind of joint pain you have, so I can’t give you any clear advice. But you can check out these supplements and pick the one that’s most suitable for your issue.

    Hope this helps.

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