Pain relief products that I've found helpful

Since I've yet to experience any relief from my RA, I must rely on pain meds and pain relief devices to get me through the day. I wanted to share with you all, some of the things that have helped me most. Even though I have no affiliation with any of these items, I'm sure some people will take issue if I provide links to specific products. For that reason, I'm going to just list general items. If you'd like links to specific products, message me privately.

1) Percussion handheld vibrating massager: These work great at easing muscle and joint pain. Unlike normal vibrating massagers, the up and down movement of the percussion massagers act like a mini jackhammer on your muscles. The one I used costs $130 on Amazon, but there are less expensive options as well. It came with a softer rubber head that works good on the head, jaw and joints... and a harder head for muscles and trigger points.

2) Tens Unit on Amazon. I've tried the tens units sold in the medicine isles at Target and Walmart. I think Icy Hot makes one. They are low power and offer minimal relief. And then you have the very expensive tens units that chiropractic offices sell. I found a $30 tens unit on Amazon a few years ago, and it's amazingly effective. So much so, that I've purchased many as gifts for family and friends. Message me and I'll provide the specific model.

3) Home made heat pads. Go to the feed store or tractor supply store and purchase a bag of feed corn. Go to Walmart or Michaels and buy a few yards of cheap muslin fabric. Go home and sew up a few bags of varying sizes. Leave one end open for filling with corn. Sew up the end, and microwave for 3 minutes. This will kill any bugs that may be in the corn. My wife and I love these because they stay warmer longer than rice or any other filler we've seen in other heat pad products. The great thing about making your own is that you can make long pads for throwing over your neck, or large flat pads for laying on before you go to bed. You can even sew up a pattern that mimics the "Huggarroo" which is sold on Amazon. The problem with the Huggarro is that it doesn't stay warm very long at all.

4) 2 tennis balls inside a sock. Take two tennis balls and put them in a sock and tie the end. Roll around on this to loosen up tight muscles and joints. You can slide the balls to varying distances from each other which allows for targeting different muscles. For example, keep the balls close together for spine or neck massage... or farther apart for your legs.

5) Trigger Point Massager: ... a plastic device that has a bunch of knobs on it. This allows you to target trigger points in your back or hard to reach places. There are many of these devices under different names on Amazon.

6) Straps or bungie straps in an archway or doorway of your home. I found a 3 tiered strap system with handles at varying heights. These work great for stretching into different muscle groups, or working out using your own body weight. A cheap and versatile way to work out and loosen tight muscles.

7) Large foam roller: These are great for loosening tight IT bands and back muscles.

8) Compression socks: These don't really help with pain, but I have found them to help reduce some of my ankle and leg swelling. The also seem to offer a bit of comfort somehow. They are pretty cheap too, which is nice.


Some items I've tried that were a waste of money:

Quell pain relief device. I found this to be nothing more than an overpriced wearable tens unit. The company claims that it helps 83% of those who try it, so I am apparently in the 17% of folks that it doesn't. I found them to be untrustworthy in their claims of calling there technology special, when it's quite apparent they are using nothing more than a tens unit. They also charge way too much for their replacement pads which don't last 1/3 of the time they claim.

Penetrex: This cream is sold on Amazon. Like every other pain relief cream I've purchased, I found this to be a complete waste of money as it didn't help one bit at reducing my pain. Then again, I may be immune to these sort of things, since even Biofreeze and the other menthol based products don't seem to work... though it's strange because 1 out of 10 times I can feel the chill effect of Biofreeze. It must have something to do with how open your pores are or something.


If anyone can offer any other suggestions for pain relief devices, creams, procedures or products that have helped you with your pain, please do share. Thanks.


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15 Replies

  • Great post and thank you for taking the time to share all this information.

    I've never found anything, in the drug line, for the worst of my RA pains. I try to move, walk,cycle, light work,etc instead. It doesn't always work but it helps to take my mind off it for a while. I can't do with splints or supports, they make my skin sore and sweaty. I do use some excellent fingerendless gloves that have rubber bobbles on the palm and fingers. I find they help me with grip, hold my thumbs in a bit and provide a little support to my knuckles.

    I bought a jar opener, a ring pull device and a tin opener with huge turner, these gadgets help me far more than I thought they would and have prevented further damage to my hands and fingers.

    Will you tell us if you've found any decent comfy slippers, I'm still looking and getting down-hearted over it.

    Cheerio from Susie.

  • MrsSW Thanks for the suggestions. The jar openers sound like a worthy investment. I do find myself stressing my hands opening certain things. I saw something on late night tv (infomercial) for opening jars. I may look into that.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this great information.

  • Wow! What an amazingly useful post! Thank you so much, Needforname, for taking the time and trouble to share your extensive knowledge. I may very well be trying some of your tips very soon. Wishing you well


  • Brilliant, thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing x

  • thank you so much for that post. What is ten units? Could you explain? I have printed it all out so I can read it all and absorb it. I have had RA 24 years and still learning. Voltaren cream helps me. I am yet to try Arnica which was recommended to me by a friend


  • Hey Rosie. A tens unit is a device that provides an electrical stimulation to muscles. It's hard to describe but it's kind of like a warm tingling vibration sensation. The $30 one on Amazon works just as good as devices 4x that price. Just make sure you don't over pay. The tens units in the drug isles at Walmart and Target are not very good. A google search about "tens units" will tell you more about how they function.

    I've tried many other pain creams and they didn't do a thing, so I'm a bit skeptical, but I may give the Voltaren cream a try since you say it works for you. Thanks.

  • Thank you Needforname for very useful information! I think I will try some of your remedies right away. One thing that I just very recently have found amazingly effective is red led light therapy. Another useful device I think.🤗Had tendonitis in my shoulder and have been treating it just a few times and almost well now. Usually has been a long and painful healing process.

  • You're sitting near that little box or you move it round your shoulder?

  • I actually have a divice that I bought from a very dependable online site. It's very effective and good quality, not expensive. It's a cord where you attatch the lightbulb. You need to hold it in your hand. You need to be very sure what you are buying. The light penetration, healing qualities as well as strength. My bulb has different ranges of penetration and is 250w whereas I have seen many lights have only 150w and different penetration.

  • If it's the product you linked the other day I've seen it - and that's why I was asking. The listing says that it is "Hand-held, hangable, tabletop" so I was asking how you use it. It seems that you use it as a handheld device that you move round the shoulder?

    Of course, it might be a different product as I don't really understand that other product.

  • Ok, I understand. The one I bought wasn't from this link, sorry the misunderstanding:( So I really cannot comment on the device on the link.

  • Hey Simba1992. My cousin told me red light therapy helped some with her hand arthritis. I thought she said it took a long time to move the light around. How long do you typically need to apply the red light before you notice some pain relief? And can you recommend a particular item on Amazon or somewhere? If you can't post the item on here, a private message recommendation would be great. I looked into them before and didn't know which item to buy. I'm low on cash, so I'd want to make sure I ordered a good one. Thanks.

  • I will. PM u the company. It's really hard to know which one to choose and which one is efficiant. Wouldn't buy one from amazon. I only need to treat 1min. I do it every day on different spots. You can really feel the difference in energy and my shoulder tendonitis is as good as gone! I'll PM u. All the best.xxSimba

  • I got my medical marijuana yesterday. I'm in NY and have rheumatoid arthritis. While the MM isn't eliminating my pain, it is helping. I suggest anyone who can get medical marijuana in their state to give it a try as a pain remedy. Good luck :)

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