How ThermaCare® Compares

See for yourself how ThermaCare® compares with other pain relief patches and creams


Real Heat, Real Relief

While some other pain relief patches and creams feel warm, they really are not delivering heat.

Many medicated patches on the market today (including Icy Hot® Patch) work as counterirritants—agents that draw attention from pain by creating an alternate sensation on the skin. Some cause blood vessels to expand, creating a heating sensation. Others create a cooling sensation that may result in a heating or burning feeling. But in the end, that’s all they are: a feeling.

It’s a fact their makers acknowledge. The Icy Hot® marketing message plainly states that Icy Hot® creams and patches “create… sensations that divert attention from the actual pain and help block the pain signals being sent to the brain.”1

But ThermaCare® is real heat. It penetrates deeply into your muscles, enabling them to relax. ThermaCare® works to increase local circulation and provide effective pain relief. ThermaCare® is free of odors and it comfortably stays on while conforming to your body’s natural shape.

Brands herein are trademarks of their respective owners

1 From Icy Hot® website, May 2009.

The Real Heat Test

ThermaCare® delivers heat that penetrates deep, warming the muscle right where it hurts—to relax, soothe and unlock tight muscles. We tested ThermaCare® against Icy Hot® products to see which generated the most heat.

The results? ThermaCare® is hot; Icy Hot® is not.

In key areas measured—skin and muscle temperature and skin blood flow – only ThermaCare® increased skin and muscle temperature. In fact, the other products DECREASED both skin and muscle temperature and had little effect on skin blood flow.


On any one of 3 given days, clinical researchers applied one of 3 products on the skin for 2 hours (ThermaCare®, a leading pain relief patch or a leading pain relief cream). Skin temperature and muscle temperature were recorded continuously over a 2-hour period. Skin blood flow was measured at various time points over a 2-hour period. *Source: Unpublished data on file.