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Penetrex Anti-Inflammatory Cream Product Review

Updated on August 10, 2014


Over the years I have seen people suffering from tennis elbow and/or golfers elbow. I have seen them try variety of at home remedies and treatment to help recover from it. Few had gone to sports doctors when the at home remedies failed. The doctors were advised to give their elbow plenty of rest, ice it daily and pop anti-inflammatory drugs. When all the proposed remedy failed the next level of treatment was to take a cortisone shot. And the last resort is get surgery so that the surgeon can repair your damaged tendon.

It was unfortunate that a freak accident where i happened to hurt my elbow & excessive tennis lead me to get my own tennis elbow. I was determined to get it healed as quickly as possible. Tennis elbow in medical term is called "lateral epicondylitis" which is basically swelling of the tendon that connects your forearm muscles to your elbow. So like others, without knowing how severe my condition was I decided to do the usual and recommended at-home remedies. They were ice it multiple times in the day, take 2 ibuprofen 300 mg each day and stay off tennis. Since I was not spending time on the court I decided to research on tennis elbow remedies. The web is filled with information and proposed remedies but what I found that most sites had repetitive information. I am from Asia so I know as a kid my parents would use various ointments, balms to help sore or sprained areas. They worked really well when I was a kid so I started searching for products.

To provide relief to my tennis elbow quickly I used 3 products in tandem:

  • Penetrex Inflammation Formulation
  • BandIT strap
  • Thera-band FlexBar

I will primarily focus on Penetrex today, but if you are interested you can read my review for the other products by clicking the below links:

Review BandIT

Review Theraband FlexBar

Why Penetrex?

I stumbled upon Penetrex on Amazon and one of the reviews really got my attention. Dave one of the verified reviewers of this product on Amazon shared a side effect of using oral NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). It turns out he was absolutely right. Oral NSAID are the most commonly prescribed medication for pain relief and inflammation. Annually 103,000 individuals are hospitalized for NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications and more than 16,000 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone.

Penetrex is a transdermal NSAID. The huge advantage is that the drug passes through the skin directly to the affected area whereas an oral NSAID goes through stomach and liver first. A team of UCSD professors conducted a research to compare transdermal NSAID with oral NSAID. In short, the research led to believe that using a transdermal NSAID is much safer and effective then its counterpart.

Read my personal blog post on Penetrex and its competitors.

Top Facts for Penetrex

  1. Ranked #1 on Amazon for Joint & Pain Relief.
  2. Highest & Most Rated Topical Pain Relief Product. Over 3300 reviews
  3. Arnica is key ingredient that make this cream so unique.
  4. Economically priced compared to Sombra, Blue-emu and Maxx Relief.
  5. It worked for me.

Penetrex Inflammation Formulation

Effectively treat tennis elbow with this cream.
Effectively treat tennis elbow with this cream. | Source

My Personal Experience

The first time I applied Penetrex was after my tennis game before going to bed. I felt something was different about it as compared to other creams, balms that I had used. The cream doesn’t provide a hot or cold sensation. I am so used to feeling something that I wondered to myself is the cream even working. I woke up next day feeling alright, feeling less pain but the soreness was present in the elbow.

It turns out for this to really work you will need to apply on multiple times in the day. I tried to do this about 4 times in the day. I definitely felt the difference in a few days of applying this cream and massaging the elbow. The recommendation is to apply the cream 3 – 4 times for at least 7 days. What really worked well for me was to apply the cream before and after playing tennis. I also wore the BandIT brace during match play to provide extra support and relief at the same time.

Note: This cream can also be used in the treatment to provide relief for a variety of stress induced ailments such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, Bursitis, Arthritis, Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, Sciatica, Back Pain, Neuropathy, Gout, etc. and is not limited to tennis elbow.

My Rating

5 stars for Penetrex Inflammation Formulation

Penetrex Active Ingredients

Here are the following key ingredients:

  • Arnica
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride aka Vitamin B6
  • MSM aka Methylsulfonylmethane

Ingredients Benefits & Side-effects

Type of Ingredient
Arnica (Arnica montana) is a genus about 30 perennial herbaceous species, belonging to the sunflower family. It has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is popular even today. It has been used to soothe muscle aches, inflammation and common injuries such as sprains or bruises.
When used over long period arnica may irritate the skin, and cause eczema, peeling, blisters and other skin conditions. People who have sensitive skin or allergic to the herb should also avoid it. Do not consume arnica by mouth as it can cause serious side effects.
Sulfur is the significant component of MSM. Sulfur is important for both strength and maintenance of joint tissue. Hence, although not proven wrong and by popular belief, doctors may advise patients taking MSM as a supplment or topical gel to prevent joint damage. There are other beliefs of using MSM for other conditions which is not relevant to this subject.
MSM seems to be safe. If you overdose on it you may experience diarrhea, vomiting or headaches.
Pryidoxine (Vitamin B6)
Vitamin B6 allows the body to create numerous nuerotransmitters that is needed for nomal brain development and function. Earlier studies had provided evidence that B6 may reduce inflammation, however recent studies say otherwise.
Although most time vitamin B6 is taken orally it is not clear if the side effects are also prevalent when used topically. With large doses a person can feel clumsiness and numbness of hands or feet.


Thank you for taking the time to read this review. I hope I was able to share information that will help you make the decision on whether to use Penetrex. I was definitely satisfied by this product. If you stick to the schedule and instructions provided it should help you. If after using it for the specified time, you do not notice any change in your symptoms I would recommend you visiting a health care provider to further examine your injury.

Disclaimer: I do not take any responsibility for any form of side-effects that may be caused by this cream. Please read thoroughly or check with your health care provider if you have any concerns on any of the ingredients used in this cream.


  4. Amazon Penetrex User Reviews

Are you suffering or had Tennis Elbow?

What was your approach to help provide relief to your pain

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Get your Input

Please take a few minutes to answer this poll. I would like to know from my readers what approach they have taken to heal their tennis elbow. This information will help me gather additional in depth resources and provide better value to my readers.

Additional Pictures

Penetrex ingredients on bottle
Penetrex ingredients on bottle
Penetrex - instructions
Penetrex - instructions


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