Muscle soreness is of two types:

  • acute muscle soreness, also referred to as immediate muscle soreness
  • delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Acute muscle soreness is felt during or immediately after exercise. This is often described as a burning pain. It’s caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. This type of muscle soreness resolves quickly.

With delayed onset muscle soreness, your symptoms peak 24 to 72 hours after exercise. This is the pain and stiffness you feel the day after you exercise. It stems from microscopic tears in your muscle fibers and the surrounding connective tissues during exercise. This usually happens after you use your muscles in a way they’re not used to, like with a new or more intense workout.

Muscle  soreness improves as your body gets used to exercise. If you need to take something to help with the pain, pass on the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Sore muscles occur with injury, overuse or when beginning a new intense physical activity. Sore muscles can be the first sign of positive improvement after exercise, but may also be a sign of serious muscle damage if the soreness is severe. In both cases, however, OTC, or over-the-counter medications, ice therapy and rest are generally all that is needed to treat sore muscles.

List of Top 15 Medicines for Sore Muscles

  1. Naproxen
  2. Ibuprofen
  3. Paracetamol
  4. Diclofenac
  5. Nabumetone
  6. Carisoprodol
  7. Capsaicin cream
  8. Arnica
  9. Back in action XT
  10. Camphor and Menthol
  11. Cramer red hot
  12. Deep blue rub
  13. Jadience herbal muscle and joint patch
  14. Epsom salt
  15. Tiger Balm

Top 15 Medicines for Sore Muscles in India (Tablets, Ointment & More)

1. Naproxen: Relieves pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Bayer’s Aleve
  • Composition Naproxen sodium
  • Popularity level – 5
  • Aleve (naproxen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication that is available over the counter. OTC Aleve comes in caplets, tablets, gelcaps, and liquid gels. It can be used to relieve pain from sore muscles.
  • Dosage –  Aleve is generally taken every 8 to 12 hours.
  • Price – A pack containing 320 capsules of the medicine costs around $25

2. Ibuprofen: Relieves pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Advil
  • Composition Ibuprofen
  • Popularity level – 6.5
  • The main ingredient of the medicine is Ibuprofen. Each capsule consists of 500mg of the Non-selective COX inhibitor which is traditionally a non-steroidal inflammatory drug.
  • Dosage –  The maximum dosage for an adult is 3200mg a day.
  • Overdosage of this fever medicine can lead to complications like intestinal lining damage, bloating of the stomach with gas, constipation etc. Ibuprofen should be avoided by pregnant and heart disease prone women.
  • Price – Advil is supplied as a 200mg capsule. A pack containing 100 capsules costs about $11

3. Paracetamol: Cure’s pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Acimol
  • Composition – Acetaminophen 500mg
  • Popularity level – 8
  • Acetaminophen classified under the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It helps to reduce body temperature and it increases analgesic threshold but has a less anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Dosage – The dosage of paracetamol tablets is generally 0.5-1g for infants, children 1 to 3 years 80-160 mg, 4 to 8 years 240-320mg and for children 9-12 years 300 to 600 mg is recommended. The tablets are meant to be swallowed whole, preferably after meal.
  • Price – Acimol is supplied as a strip of 10 tablets. The price of each strip is ₹6.

4. Diclofenac: Cure’s pain and inflammation

  • Brand name – Voltaren
  • Composition – Diclofenac
  • Popularity level – 8
  • Diclofenac is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
  • Dosage – Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces / 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If you experience stomach upset with this medication, you may take it with food, milk, or an antacid. However, this may slow absorption and delay pain relief, especially if you are not taking this medication on a regular schedule.
  • Price – A pack of 30 tablets costs $10.

5. Nabumetone: Cure’s pain and inflammation

  • Brand name – Relafen
  • Composition – Nabumetone
  • Popularity level – 5
  • Nabumetone is used to reduce pain, swelling, and joint stiffness from muscle soreness. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
  • Dosage – Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters). Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To prevent stomach upset, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
  • Price – The average cost of Nabumetone is around $64 for a supply of 60, 500 mg tablets.

6. Carisoprodol: Cure’s pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Soma
  • Composition – Carisoprodol
  • Popularity level – 7
  • Carisoprodol is used short-term to treat muscle pain and discomfort. It is usually used along with rest, physical therapy, and other treatments. It works by helping to relax the muscles.
  • Dosage – Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 4 times a day.
  • The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. This medication should only be used short-term (for 3 weeks or less) unless directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
  • Price – The cost for Soma oral tablet 250 mg is around $212 for a supply of 30 tablets.

7. Capsaicin cream: Cure’s pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Capsaicin cream
  • Composition – Capsaicin
  • Popularity level – 6
  • This medication is used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints (e.g., arthritis, backache, sprains). Capsaicin works by decreasing a certain natural substance in your body (substance P) that helps pass pain signals to the brain.
  • Dosage – For the cream, gel, and lotion forms, apply a thin layer of medication to the affected area and rub in gently and thoroughly. You may want to use a cotton ball/swab or latex glove to apply the medication to avoid touching the medication with your hands.
  • Price – A pack of 30g cream cost ₹90.

8. Arnica: Cure’s pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Arnicare Gel
  • Composition – Arnica montana
  • Popularity level – 4
  • Arnicare Gel temporarily relieves muscle pain and stiffness due to minor injuries, overexertion, and falls; reduces pain, swelling, and discoloration from bruises.
  • Dosage – Apply a thin layer of Arnicare Gel to affected area and massage gently as soon as possible after minor injury.
  • Repeat 3 times a day or as needed.
  • Price – A 2.5-ounce tube of the cream costs ₹1675.

9. Back in action XT: Cure’s pain and inflammation

  • Brand name – Back in action XT
  • Composition – Corydalis yanhusuo (rhizome), Turmeric (tuber), Chinese angelica (root), Garden balsam (leaf), Safflower (flower), Red peony (root), Loranthus (whole herb), Astragalus (root), Peach (kernel), Bai-zhu atractylodes (rhizome), Chinese quince (fruit), Sichuan lovage (root), Mulberry (twig), Sappan (wood), Elk horn (shed antler), Myrrh (resin), Olibanum (resin), Fragrant angelica (root), Sichuan dipsacus (root), Psoralea (fruit), Pseudostellaria (root), Piper nigrum (fruit), Costus (root), Cinnamon (twig)
  • Popularity level – 7
  • This medicine is a natural anti-Inflammatory herbal formula traditionally used to support relief from minor muscle soreness and joint pain due to overwork, exercise, or injury.
  • Dosage – For persons up to 150 pounds, take one 500 mg capsule by mouth two to three times per day; for those weighing more than 150 pounds, take two 500 mg capsules two to three times per day; or as directed by your healthcare professional. Do not exceed two capsules at any one time.
  • Price – A bottle of 90 capsules cost $66.95

10. Camphor and Menthol: Cure’s pain due to muscle soreness

  • Brand name – Pain relief liniment spray
  • Composition – Camphor 3.5% w/w, Menthol 2.5% w/w.
  • Popularity level – 5
  • The natural pain relieving properties of J.R. Watkins’ Liniment are blended with the penetrating vapors of their Menthol Camphor Relief Mist to offer quick relief from muscle soreness.
  • Dosage – Spray the medicine at the affected area whenever pain is felt.
  • Price – A 4oz bottle of the spray costs $10.99

11. Cramer red hot: Cure’s pain due to sore muscles

  • Brand name – Cramer red hot
  • Composition – oleoresin capsicum
  • Popularity level – 6
  • Maximum-strength petrolatum-based analgesic with active ingredient oleoresin capsicum for maximum warmth for muscle soreness, joint pain, arthritis pain and more.
  • Long-lasting formula is odorless and easy to apply
  • Assists with warm up and relieves minor pain of strains and sprains
  • Relaxes tight, aching muscles
  • Dosage – Apply a thin layer of cream over the affected area, 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Price – A 78g tube of the cream costs $12.91

12. Deep blue rub: Relieves sore muscles

  • Brand name – Deep blue rub
  • Composition – Aqua, Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Oil, Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Menthol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Capsicum frutescens Extract, Chamomilla recutita (Blue Chamomile) Flower Oil , Tanacetum annuum (Blue Tansy) Flower Oil, Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum) Flower Oil, Allantoin, Gardenia florida Fruit Extract, Osmanthus fragrans (Osmanthus) Flower Extract, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chlorella vulgaris Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalane, Ceteareth-20, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Maltodextrin, Sodium PCA, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
  • Popularity level – 5
  • Deep Blue Rub is a rich, topical cream infused with the Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. Formulated with a proprietary blend of natural plant extracts and other powerful ingredients, Deep Blue Rub provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas. Made with doTERRA’s top-selling Deep Blue essential oil blend of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus, Deep Blue Rub is an essential addition to your bathroom cabinet and gym bag. Deep Blue Rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leave your skin feeling soft and not greasy. It is the choice of massage therapists and sports practitioners who currently use doTERRA’s Deep Blue proprietary blend in their practice.
  • Directions for Use – Massage lotion into affected areas. For a more intensive treatment, apply Deep Blue Soothing Blend on the skin prior to lotion application.
  • Price – A 4oz bottle of the rub costs ₹8.849.

13. Jadience herbal muscle and joint patch: Cures sore muscles

  • Brand name – Jadience herbal muscle and joint patch
  • Composition – Camphor, Herbal Extracts (Clematidis, Achyranthis, Stephania, Burdock Root, Cortex Moutan, Ginseng, Ledebouriella, Goji Berry, Poria Cocos, Mulberry Bark, Cinnamon Bark, Corydalis Rhizome, Angelica, Astragulus, Radix Polygoni Multiflori, Chinese Foxglove Root, Chaenomelis Fruit, Sophora, Inula, Licorice Root), Aloe Vera, Water, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl 3-Esters (Candelilla, Jojoba and Rice), Glyceryl Stearate (Palm, Grape Seed and Sunflower), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (Vegetable Derived), Glycerin (Plant sources), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut and Palm Kernel), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Esters, Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinensis), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plant Cellulose Thickener), Xanthan Gum (Fermented Sugar), Caprylyl Glycol, Natural Fragrance Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Jade Powder
  • Popularity level – 5
  • This exclusive formula improves circulation while removing toxins and internal bruising. This rare blend of herbs, including Clematidis, Achyranthis, and Puerariae, relaxes sore and tight muscles, alleviates symptoms of pain, strengthens muscles and joints, and aids in the relief of swelling and inflammation.
  • Dosage – Apply the patch over the affected area.
  • Price – A pack of 5 patches cost $18. Each patch is 2” x 3” in size.

14. Epsom salt: Relieves sore muscles

  • Brand name – Sore muscle and back soak
  • Composition – Epsom salt
  • Popularity level – 8
  • In water, epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into your body through your skin. That hasn’t been proven, but just soaking in warm water can help relax muscles and loosen stiff joints.
  • Dosage – The water should be very warm — not hot, but comfortable to the touch. Add the Epsom salt while the water is running to help it dissolve.
  • For a standard-sized tub, use the amount suggested on the package, usually 1 to 2 cups, or the amount recommended by your doctor.
  • Price – 1 16 oz pack of Epsom salt costs ₹4000.

15. Tiger balm: Relieves sore muscles

  • Brand name – Salves tiger balm
  • Composition – Camphor, Menthol, Cajuput oil, and Clove oil
  • Popularity level – 9
  • Tiger Balm is a topical over-the-counter pain reliever that contains ingredients such as camphor, menthol, cajuput oil, and clove oil. It comes as a cream, gel, or liquid that is applied superficially to the area of pain and absorbed through the skin. Tiger Balm is often used for relief of a variety of types of pain, including back pain, joint pain, stiffness, sprains, and arthritis pain.
  • Camphor, which comes from the Cinnamomum camphora plant, induces warm and cold sensations in the skin and increases blood flow.
  • Menthol, which is made from mint oils, may induce constriction of the muscles inside the blood vessels, which has been shown to reduce pain.
  • Cajuput oil comes from cajuput trees and is used for pain relief from toothaches and headaches in some cultures.
  • Cassia oil, which comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum cassia plant, may have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Demetholized mint oil comes from a peppermint plant and has been used as a topical treatment for pain.
  • Clove oil, which comes from a clove plant, is used for pain relief from toothaches.
  • Dosage – Tiger Balm is used PRN, which means that you can use it as needed when your pain arises. Most people will apply it several times a day and reapply when the pain returns. It should relieve your pain within 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Price – A 0.63 oz pack of the balm costs $11.



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