Comprehensive pain management formula | Penetrex review | Sports therapy

Comprehensive pain management for musculoskeletal problems and sports therapy

Comprehensive pain management formula, Penetrex, is not just a painkiller but a formula to reduce inflammation and thereby reduce pain, as claimed by the manufacturer. The manufacturer claims that it’s useful in lots of musculoskeletal and connective tissue pain and inflammation and hence can be very useful sports therapy when sports injuries cause pain. In this article, I’ll try to go through the detail of the ingredients of this formula, their actions on the body tissue, benefits, adverse effects, and examine in an unbiased way, if this formula is worth giving a try. This Penetrex review is based on the information gathered by myself on my own.

What is Penetrex?


Penetrex cream for pain relief

Penetrex Cream

Penetrex is a topical cream which you can apply directly to the site of pain and injury. It’s a unique formula of various natural ingredients that treat many inflammation-related problems. And hence you can feel less pain caused by the inflammation. Your inflammation at the site of the lesion will also decrease. So it’s not just a painkiller but a therapeutic agent.

In order to understand the mode of action, let us take up the major constituent ingredients and then examine these, one by one.


Ingredients of Penetrex

Let me try to help you understand the role of each active ingredient in Penetrex and see how these help in pain management.

Arnica Montana Flower Extract

Arnica montana is traditionally used topically as oil, cream, liniment, salve, or tincture for alleviating muscle pain and stiffness. In European folk medicine, shepherds used to reduce pain and inflammation due to sprains, bruises, and injuries. It probably increases the permeability of membranes and dilates the blood vessels. It has been used for aches due to overexertion.

It’s taken orally only in homeopathic formulations.

Since arnica montana flower extract is proven to diminish pain and inflammation in injuries, it can be used in sports therapy, like the one for tennis elbow. And for the same reason, can incorporate in comprehensive pain management of conditions like the arthritic and inflammatory pain of the knee, hip, back, neck, and neuropathic pains including sciatica, as well as shin splints and tendinitis.

The presence of arnica montana flower extract in Penetrex formula is certainly a good choice.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is a good emollient and used for moisturizing the skin. The linoleic acid contained in the sunflower seed oil does have anti-inflammatory effects but are mostly limited to the skin surface. However, moisture on the skin probably may help other ingredients to get absorbed and cross the skin into the deeper tissue. The therapeutic role of this ingredient is yet to be fully understood. 

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)

Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 has good anti-inflammatory properties when consumed orally. It is often used to polyneuropathy neuritis as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. These properties make vitamin B6 an excellent choice as part of comprehensive pain management formula for musculoskeletal problems, carpal tunnel syndrome as well as sports therapy for problems like tennis elbow etc. It has a role in the sodium-potassium balance in the tissues, especially nerve and therefore helps reduce the edema and inflammation, thereby reducing the pain as well. However, all benefits depend on the actual bioavailability of these ingredients in the body tissue where needed.

This ingredient is excellent choice provided it does cross the skin and reach the internal tissues. Does this happen in the case of Penetrex? This is what I’d discuss towards the end of this article.

Bilineurine Bitartrate

This ingredient also belongs to the B vitamins family. Like vitamin B6, this has a beneficial effect on the nerve inflammation. In the case of tennis elbow, radial nerve is affected, in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, nerves in the wrist are affected. So the presence of bilineurine in this comprehensive pain management formula is a good choice, especially its role in the sports therapy cannot be denied. If, as claimed by the manufacturer, it is able to penetrate deep into the tissue of discomfort, its benefits can be great.

Penetrex cream

Penetrex cream ingredients

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM/DMSO2)

MSM helps by helping tissues in eliminating the waste products like lactic acid etc. which are responsible for pain and soreness in the body.  It does so by restoring the flexibility and permeability to cell walls so that fluids can pass through the tissues more easily. In this way, the body tissues recover fast. The MSM is, therefore, good ingredient as a constituent of the comprehensive pain management formula for musculoskeletal problems and as part of this sports therapy cream.


Glucosamine is present in the joint fluid and cartilage. It is made in the body tissues. It keeps the bone, cartilage and joint in good shape and functioning. Routine food does not contain glucosamine. So if due to age or wear and tear, when requirements increase, the only way to replace the most glucosamine when internal production is low, is by external supplementation.

Penetrex manufacturer claims that their cream uses transdermal transport technology to transfer its ingredients from the external skin surface, to inside the joint tissue. If this is true, as it appears to be the case, then it’s a great way to bypass the oral route and make it available right in the tissue where it is needed the most. Glucosamine is not fully utilized if taken orally and can cause stomach upset as well. 

Cetyl Myristoleate

Though limited, there is some scientific evidence, but a lot of testimonial evidence, that cetyl myristoleate is useful in alleviating pain and inflammation of joints due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, bursitis, and sports injuries. Public opinion has recently been building up that it may even be better than glucosamine and chondroitin in the treatment of these problems.

How it alleviates pain? Probably by lubrication effect in joints, anti-inflammatory effect decreasing edema in and around joints, and by decreasing morning stiffness which common in arthritis of rheumatoid origin.

In light of these properties, I can safely say that inclusion of this ingredient in this comprehensive pain management formula for musculoskeletal problems and as part of sports therapy is justified and probably beneficial.

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract

Aloe vera leaf extract has healing and anti-inflammatory effects probably due to the presence of some sterols. It also contains some salicylic acid and probably due to this it has analgesic effects as well. It has been used in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions traditionally for a long time. These properties justify it as part of the comprehensive pain management strategy for the musculoskeletal problems and thus is its inclusion in the Penetrex cream. Due to analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, it has also a role in sports therapy due to injuries etc.

Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Oil

Though there are not many scientific studies, as is the case with most traditional herbs, some studies that have been carried out so far have revealed that Frankincense oil does have a good effect on osteoarthritis. Probably this is because of boswellic acid contained in the oil which inhibits the pro-inflammatory enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase. It has also a role in inhibiting nF-kB. When taken orally, it decreases pain and improves joint mobility, especially in the joints affected by osteoarthritis.

Due to these properties, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Oil found its place in this formula for comprehensive pain management for musculoskeletal problems and in sports therapy.

Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil

Traditionally it is used for decreasing pain and inflammation over bruised or injured areas of skin. It is also used, mixed with other carrier oils, to minimize pain and inflammation of tendinitis and arthritis. It has also been used to overcome myalgia and neuralgia. There is, however, a need for more scientific studies to find out how and why this oil is effective in musculoskeletal aches and pains.

Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor)

Camphor has been used externally as a pain remedy for bruises, wounds, inflammation, gout and rheumatic joints in the past. It is still used as part of creams and ointments or rheumatic pain, neuralgia, arthritis, sore muscles, sprains, and bruises.

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

Tea Tree Oil is primarily used historically as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory oil (Carson, 2006). The inclusion of this ingredient in this comprehensive pain management formula for musculoskeletal problems and sports therapy is a good idea because it is better to have an antimicrobial agent in it to prevent any skin infections while applying the cream for its anti-inflammatory effect. In addition to its antimicrobial effect, the Tea Tree Oil itself has an anti-inflammatory effect. These properties make it a good choice to be included in the formula.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Vitamin E’s role as an anti-inflammatory agent is not fully understood. However, there is scientific evidence in favor of vitamin E’s role against the oxidative stress. The oxidative stress caused by the free radicals play important role in the causation and deterioration of the osteoarthritis in joints including knee, hip, cervical, lumbar spine, distal interphalangeal, proximal interphalangeal, carpometacarpal, and metatarsophalangeal joints. Therefore, we can say that the vitamin E in the cream would help in overcoming the oxidative stress and thereby prevent or delay the osteoarthritis (Bhattacharya, 2011).

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate

Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate obtained from licorice roots is converted to glycyrrhetinic acid, which inhibits some enzymes which destroy corticosteroids. Therefore, the role of this ingredient is anti-inflammatory (Huang, 2016).

Side effects

As a rule of thumb, if you are allergic to any of the ingredient in the cream, don’t use. Also, do not think that all natural or herbal preparations are free from adverse effects. Generally, this cream should be well tolerated, but be cautious and if anything unusual, please consult your doctor immediately.

Conditions for which Penetrex can be useful

Let me now take up the conditions for which it can be useful or can benefit.


First, let’s us see what is arthritis? When one or more joints inside the body become inflamed, we call it arthritis. It causes problems like joint pain, stiffness, redness, swelling, decreased mobility and often, these symptoms worsen with age.

Arthritis is of many types, but the two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and they destroy the joints in different ways.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear to your cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones. Too much damage will cause the bone grinding directly on another bone in a joint, which causes pain and restricted movement. This continues to happen for a long time and worsens with the age. If there is any injury or infection, a sudden flare-up can occur.

Lifestyle changes that help in managing arthritis

If you’re obese or overweight, losing weight will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints. This may increase your mobility and limit future joint injury. Regular exercise can help keep your joints flexible. Swimming and water aerobics may be good choices because the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on weight-bearing joints. Heating pads or ice packs may help relieve arthritis pain. Using canes, walkers, raised toilet seats, and other assistive devices can help protect your joints and improve your ability to perform daily tasks.

Using Penetrex as part of the comprehensive pain management plan for arthritis pain

You can make topical application of Penetrex a part of your comprehensive pain management plan for arthritis, be it osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. However, please bear in mind that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It can be mild or can be very serious. In many cases of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus or other autoimmune problems can be present side by side. These conditions are very serious and you should seek proper and regular medical treatment by a rheumatologist. However, Penetrex as an adjuvant treatment can be good in relieving the joint pain and local inflammation at the site of the lesion. For other systemic issues, your rheumatologist can prescribe you some medicines.

Back Pain

Many people skip going to work or visit their doctor due to ‘back pain’. Penetrex is usually very useful for common back pains of musculoskeletal origin. However, if the pain starts after a fall, sports injury, heavy lifting or some kind of trauma, or is not going away with home remedies, it is better to see your doctor. This is because you may need some imaging to identify the cause and proper treatment.

For which back pain to use Penetrex?

The pain can be due to muscle or ligament strain caused by heavy lifting, awkward movement or during sports and if it’s not something serious and just painful muscle spasm, Penetrex can handle it nicely.

Bulging or ruptured disks can be more serious and needs proper care and treatment by your doctor. This is because the cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine probably become damaged or displaced or are pressing some nerves. Sometimes arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis which requires proper diagnosis and treatment.

Skeletal irregularities, like scoliosis, can also cause back pain if the condition is severe. However, this also needs proper medical attention. Osteoporosis of vertebrae can develop compression fractures if bones become porous and brittle. Penetrex may not be able to overcome osteoporosis, which on its own needs a separate and proper treatment. However, Penetrex can take care of the local inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Other therapies that may be used together with Penetrex

Back pain treatment can be physical therapy, heat application, electrical stimulation, muscle relaxation techniques, chiropractic manipulations, massage, yoga and of course Penetrex is very helpful in these conditions.


This is inflammation of bursa – a sac that lies over the joints and under the skin and is filled with fluid and acts as a cushion between tendons and bones. When bursitis occurs, there is a pain, swelling and tenderness felt over the bursa (joint). It mostly affects the shoulder, elbow, knee (known as housemaid’s knee) and hip joints.

Giving rest to the affected joint, using ice packs and Penetrex application can help overcome this problem in few weeks time. Penetrex can be very helpful in this condition. To prevent this condition from recurring in the knee joint, it’s better to wear knee pads. This would help prevent injuring the joint tissue and the encapsulating bursa.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In the wrist area, there is a tunnel-like narrow passageway from which a nerve, called median nerve passes from the forearm to the palm of the hand. The median nerve controls some muscles at the base of the thumb and sensations originating the palm side of the thumb, the index, middle, and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger). Sometimes, swelling occurs due to irritated tendons or for some other reason. This compresses the nerve in the narrow canal leading to numbness and pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm. The affected hand can also experience some weakness.

Factors causing carpal tunnel syndrome

Sometimes, swelling occurs due to irritated tendons or for some other reason. This compresses the nerve in the narrow canal leading to numbness and pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm. The affected hand can also experience some weakness. At other times, sprain, fracture, overactivity of the pituitary gland, underactive thyroid gland, rheumatoid arthritis, work stress, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, fluid retention due to pregnancy and menopause can also lead to this syndrome. Besides, the formation of any cyst or tumor in the narrow passageway, or anything else that can lead to the compression of the nerve in the tunnel can cause it.

Using Penetrex for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It is important to remove the causative factor. If it’s work stress or sprain or mild injury and not due to any serious condition, giving rest to the wrist area and using Penetrex can give good results. At the most one may need some oral anti-inflammatory for a short period and then continue using of Penetrex. That is all one may need.

However, if it’s consequent to some other condition, like hormonal edema due to pituitary or thyroid cause, Penetrex would still give a benefit at the site of the problem, but it is important to treat the main cause. Your doctor is the best person to do this in such serious cases because it may need surgical intervention if severe or if acute condition may need corticosteroid injection. So do contact your doctor if conditions do not improve in some weeks.


According to NAIMS, “Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms” (NAIMS, 2014). It may have an autoimmune origin and may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), etc. If in fibromyalgia, there is any specific area that is painful, like joint or if there is fibromyalgia foot pain. Penetrex cream can be very helpful adjuvant treatment. If the fibromyalgia is due to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, let the rheumatologist treat these main problems first. You can still use Penetrex at the site of lesion for local benefits. For example, fibromyalgia foot. Discuss the use of Penetrex with your doctor first.

Hip Pain

When we say hip pain here, we are talking about mild to moderate pain or chronic pain of hip joint due to osteoarthritis. Penetrex can help in managing pain, inflammation, and swelling to promote comfort. However, if the condition is severe and persists, you need to see your doctor. If the pain is due to accident or injury, or leg has become deformed, bruised and is bleeding, or if you are not able to move your leg or bear any weight, you need to proceed to the hospital. I think Penetrex would be useful in the pain which is mild to moderate, and of inflammatory origin, like osteoarthritis or mild and non-serious injuries, etc.

Knee Pain

When sprains and strains or anterior knee pain around kneecap (patellofemoral pain syndrome) cause the knee pain, one can treat it by using Penetrex, ice, and elevating the leg, etc. One may need a physiotherapist if it persists. Penetrex and rest can be used to treat pain due to damage to menisci (rubbery pads of tissue that cushion the bones and act as shock absorbers) or cartilage damage, which mostly occurs due to twisting of joints, for example it happens in sports injuries.

Jumping activities, as in basketball or volleyball, can cause “jumper knee” leading to inflammation of the patellar tendon (patellar tendinitis). Penetrex is an excellent remedy for this condition. Similarly, for bursitis (housemaid’s knee), torn ligaments or tendons, Penetrex can be a good choice. However, as a rule of thumb, in serious conditions, for example, when temperature develops, condition warrants immediate treatment at the emergency department of the hospital.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)

Osgood-Schlatter Disease occurs in the teenagers and young adults. It causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the bony lump just below the kneecap. Damage to the bone at top of lower leg occurs during a growth spurt. In these cases using Penetrex cream, reducing activity and ice packs can relieve the pain and resolve the problem when child’s growth spurts stop.

Using Penetrex in the Osteoarthritis of the knee joint

If the pain is due to osteoarthritis, Penetrex cream is excellent choice together with other therapies, unless there are serious flare-ups or damage is too much and you have no option but to go for knee joint replacement surgery. I think it is better to see a doctor instead of self-treat when you have torn ligament or tendon, and knee becomes unstable or keeps “giving way”. Also, if you suspect there is bleeding from inside the knee joint, evident by symptoms like swelling of the knee, warmth, stiffness and bruising, it better to see the doctor.

Septic arthritis of the knee joint – see the doctor straight away

If you feel generally unwell and have a fever together with painful hot and swollen knee joint, you may have the infection called septic arthritis of the knee joint. You must see your doctor urgently in such a case as infection can be very serious and occasionally may need arthroscopic surgery to treat it. One can use Penetrex cream for pain and swelling, with permission from your doctor, however, clearing the infection should be the priority in order to avoid any complications later on.

Using Penetrex for the gouty arthritis of the knee

If your knee joint pain is due to gout, you also need to manage your blood uric acid level. Your doctor will give you medicine to lower your uric acid levels in the blood and advise you the diet as well. Having taken care of your systemic disease and uric acid levels, one can use Penetrex cream and ice packs for local knee pain relief. However, you must address the basic cause of the pain and swelling, which is uric acid metabolism.

Neck Pain

The usual stiff neck or neck pain is a common problem, often not serious but very annoying. Sleeping in an awkward position, using a computer for a prolonged period of time, a strain on muscles because of bad posture (acute torticollis can occur), all these can cause stiff and painful neck. One can treat this kind of pain easily at home using Penetrex cream. Besides Penetrex cream, you can try heat packs or application of hot water bottle, using a low and firm pillow at night for sleep, and neck exercises. Usually, this kind of pain can last for a day or two to a few weeks. If condition persists, you can consult your doctor.

A whiplash injury occurs during traffic accidents due to sudden movement of head forwards and backward or sideways injuring the tendons and ligaments in the neck. If severe, look for proper medical treatment without delay.


There are many types of neuropathies and mentioning all here is beyond the scope of this article. Mostly response of neuropathies to medical treatment can be as low as 40%. And Penetrex may also not be useful in many neuropathies. Only those with inflammation and pain can respond variably to the application of the Penetrex cream. While seeking other medical treatment there is no harm to try this. Maybe it can decrease the intensity of the pain.

Plantar Fasciitis or The Jogger’s Heel

It is the inflammation of the plantar fascia which connects the heel to the toes of the foot. It maintains the arch of the foot. People with a very high arch of the foot or flat foot have a higher tendency to develop plantar fasciitis. Usually, treatment options include rest, change in activities (not running, stopping exercises or sports, etc), taking pain medications, and stretch. In addition, one can use physiotherapy, orthotics, splinting, or steroid injections as per your doctor’s instructions. Extreme measures include extracorporeal shockwave therapy and surgery. Use Penetrex cream alone or together with these treatment options, depending on the severity of symptoms. In most cases, rest and Penetrex application would be good enough. However, if these therapies don’t work, try to see your doctor.


Sciatica pain occurs due to inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Pain or numbness is felt in the buttocks and legs. The pain may be just a tingling sensation starting from the back and going down to leg or may occur together with the weakness of calf muscles can be felt. It is usually caused by a slipped disc but we don’t know why disc slips. It may also occur due to some other less common causes, including narrowing of the nerve passage in the spine (spinal stenosis), slipping of vertebra from its position (spondylolisthesis), spinal injury or tumor, or compression or damage of nerve in the spinal cord (serious).

Penetrex can be used to decrease pain and inflammation of sciatica. If the pain is unbearable, your doctor can inject other painkilling medicines. But usually, Penetrex cream and spinal manipulation by a chiropractor or massage by a physiotherapist can be sufficient In serious cases there may be need of surgery. So it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting any home remedy.

Shin Splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)

Shin Splints is pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). It is a common exercise-related problem which develops after physical activity – running, vigorous exercise, fitness workout, etc. Sometimes, it may develop in people with flat foot or by wearing improper footwear.

Simple measures like rest, ice, and applying Penetrex cream can be enough to bring relief.

Tennis Elbow

This is the pain on the outer side of elbow and forearm. It occurs in players of tennis and other racquet games. The muscles of forearm and tendons become damaged due to overuse. This is different from the golfer’s elbow, which occurs on the inner side of the elbow.

Sports Therapy

Sports therapy consists of a rest, massage, using Penetrex cream and ice (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel).

If you would like to buy Penetrex, click here to visit MelakaStore.Com to make a buying decision

Why Penetrex?

As it is evident from the discussion above that Penetrex cream is very useful as part of comprehensive pain management of musculoskeletal problems as well as can be a part of the sports therapy. In some cases, it can be used singly, with gentle massage over the affected area and in other cases, it can be adjuvant part of the main treatment.

Does topical application of Penetrex works?

If you go through the information about the ingredients of the Penetrex cream, you’d notice that almost all active ingredients have shown benefits in their traditional, folklore or homeopathic use, when these were consumed orally. To some extent, these have been tested scientifically as well. Probably these would be more effective if these are applied directly to the affected tissues.

Generally, the barrier of skin prevents many substances to cross from outside into the tissues inside. The technology used in the manufacture of the Penetrex however, allows penetration of its ingredients deep into the affected tissues, as claimed by the manufacturer. The concentration of the ingredients in these tissues affected, after the topical application, is enough to work therapeutically. The effects, however, may still vary from person to person and from condition to condition. The adverse effects, which usually would occur when these ingredients are taken orally, are also prevented due to the topical application. Having said this, I think Penetrex is something worth to give a try!

Where to buy Penetrex cream?

You can buy Penetrex cream by following the links on this page. If you find it useful and want to order again, please come back to this page and order from here, to support this blog. Thank you.

If you would like to buy Penetrex, please click here to visit MelakaStore.Com to make a buying decision

Reminder: As a rule of thumb, do not use home remedies, including Penetrex, without consulting your doctor. Sometimes some health problem, which appears minor, can be serious and their timely diagnosis can be life-saving. Once you have consulted your doctor and confirmed that it is not a serious problem you can use Penetrex cream. In other cases, you can use only in consultation with your doctor as an adjuvant treatment to the main treatment.

References and further readings
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