Pain is a warning signal associated with the body’s natural response to changes in...
How It Works

Pain signals are normal. They are the body’s way of protecting itself and they don’t always mean harm or damage. Inflammation is part of the natural healing process after injury, which also creates pain signals to the brain. But sometimes muscle and joint pain changes the way we move or causes us to avoid movement. This can actually do more harm than good.

Pain Cycle
Pain Control Gateway
Types Of Pain

Acute pain occurs with injury and lasts for a few days, but generally subsides. Chronic pain is generally any pain that lasts for 3 months or longer.

Types Of Pain
Impact Of Pain

People experience pain differently, and treatment should be customized to each person's situation because the impact of pain can be:

Impact Of Pain
It’s important to understand the full range of options for muscle and joint pain relief – and the associated risks and side effects. Even if being pain free isn’t possible, it’s critical to use the safest, most effective solutions for your circumstances.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest finding a pain relief approach that works for you.
  • Solutions may vary and prescription medications may be necessary for some, but trying non-prescription pain relief methods, products, and approaches is a critical first step.
  • Where possible, the CDC focuses on non-opioid treatments as a first step 1 because there are very real risks to using opioids.
  • One good place to start is with a hands-on health professional.
Try Professional Care
Many people turn to hands-on professional care for guidance and pain relief. Research shows working with hands-on healthcare professionals can result in better outcomes for musculoskeletal pain2 To treat your pain and its underlying causes, use a guided search to find one that's right for you.
  • Chiropractors
  • Physical Therapists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Other Health Professionals
Safer Pain Relief Tools
Hands-on professionals rely on proven, external pain relief approaches and tools you may not be familiar with but are widely available. Learn more below.
Topical Pain Relievers
Topical Pain Relievers

How to use it: Topical pain relievers are applied directly on the skin and may be rubbed, rolled, or sprayed on. Apply Biofreeze to the painful area up to four times per day.

The evidence: Topical pain relievers, like Biofreeze® Pain Reliever, use FDA-approved active ingredients. Biofreeze uses menthol to block pain signals from traveling to the brain. Clinical studies have shown that Biofreeze provides significant pain relief in knee arthritis3, hand pain4,5, lower back6 and neck pain, and muscle soreness7,8

Kinesiology Tape
Topical Pain Relievers

How to use it: Healthcare professionals apply kinesiology tape directly to the skin in many taping patterns. You can easily recreate these patterns using the XactStretch™ indicators on TheraBand® Kinesiology Tape. The indicators show stretch tension (up to 25 or 50%) to match professional instructions. You can wear this tape for up to five days.

The evidence: Kinesiology tape helps support injured areas without restricting movement. Kinesiology tape has been shown to reduce chronic musculoskeletal pain9 and reduce pain medication use for acute lower back pain10

Thermal Therapy
Thermal Therapy

How to use it: Apply a hot or cold pack to the painful area in 20 minute intervals. If you can, try a pack that can either be heated or frozen, like TheraPearl® packs.

The evidence: Hot and cold packs also work by creating a sensation that travels to the brain, blocking pain signals in the process. Cold packs can help reduce swelling and hot packs encourage blood flow. Depending on the nature of the injury, hot and cold packs may be used to aid in pain relief. Hot or cold packs can reduce neck and back pain11 Heat packs have been shown to improve the likelihood of doing prescribed exercises among knee pain patients12


How to use it: Your healthcare professional may recommend specific exercises for your condition. A general suggestion to be more physically active may also be appropriate. TheraBand resistance bands, like the CLX consecutive loops band, are often recommended. They are very portable, extremely versatile and proven to be effective.

The evidence: Exercise can help you manage your pain13 Aerobic exercise like walking14 and resistance exercises using TheraBand bands15,16,17,18,19, can effectively reduce musculoskeletal pain in a variety of conditions20

If you are suffering from pain, here’s what you can do.
  • Learn

    Add to what you’ve learned from this guide by talking with a healthcare professional. Find one here.

  • Plan

    Make and write down a complete plan with your health professional, possibly including multiple pain relief approaches.

  • Goals

    Document how each method will be used in a place you see every day (like your phone) and include goals that progress over time.

  • Track

    Record the pain relief methods you use and the pain levels you experience daily. Share with your healthcare professional. Find one here.

  • Support

    Engage family, friends, or support groups to help you stick to your plan and work through any challenges.