Reviewed : Thumbs Up For Voltarol For Muscle & Joint Pain Relief

For those of us with aches and pains, taking prescription or over the counter medications aren’t always the best option, for various reasons. I wanted to stay away from popping pills wherever possible so I went on the hunt for something that could provide temporary relief when really needed, and Voltarol gets the thumbs up from me.

In their range, Voltarol provide products specifically designed for both muscle and joint pain. It’s quite a well-known, positively regarded brand, and being a GlaxoSmithKline product also increases confidence in it being credible and trustworthy.

This is described as providing “targeted relief from pain & swelling in muscles, neck and back. Combines moisturising effect of cream and cooling effect of a gel.”

How does it work? They claim the following : “Unlike products that work by only cooling or heating the skin, Voltarol contains an anti-inflammatory which strikes at the source of pain”. This isn’t just a cooling gel, and it’s not a pricey placebo to get you to simply massage away the pain thinking it’s doing something magical. It contains Diclofenac Diethylammonium and this works in addition to the Emugel part of the product.

What is ‘Emulgel’? “Emulgel® is a technology specifically for Voltarol. It helps the gel to penetrate deeply into the skin to enhance delivery of the active ingredient, diclofenac, to the site of pain and swelling. In addition, the Emulgel® technology is a unique combination of a gel and cream providing both a cooling and soothing effect when applied to the skin.”

To Use : Start off with a small blob, about the size of a 1p or 2p piece, and gently smooth on to skin and rub in over the area causing pain. You can reapply this 3 – 4 times a day for prolonged relief, as long as you leave at least 4 hours between applications. You shouldn’t use this more than 4 times in 24hrs.

The gel should only be used for up to 7 days consecutively, unless recommended by a doctor; consult your GP if you’ve not had any improvements in this time. It’s not suitable for those under 14 years of age.

… My Experience …

The gel is more like a cream; it’s white in colour, smooth and of a reasonably thick consistency, just right to massage gently into skin. It absorbs quite quickly and leaves skin feeling soft with no sticky or greasy residue. There is a scent that’s quite chemical and medicinal but I don’t find it too overpowering or off-putting as it doesn’t linger too badly. I find that you only need a relatively small amount per application, so a little goes a long way. I’ve not noticed any adverse effects from this gel at all, and nothing in the way of dry or irritated skin either (if anything, it provides a soothing, moisturising effect).

I’ve used this on both muscle and joint pains and aches, both with surprisingly good results. I’m often sceptical about products that sound too good to be true; easing pain by simply using a gel on your skin seemed pretty unbelievable to me, so the first time I used this I had expected disappointment.

It’s hard to say how quickly it works because after you rub it in you tend to go off and do other things, then only notice a little later that the aches and pains are feeling, rather miraculously, a lot better! When I use this on my shoulders, where I get ‘knotted muscles’, perhaps because of tension and stress, I’m almost sure it works in minutes. What can start out as quite a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders, especially to the touch, feels incredibly relieved after using the gel. When using on joints, such as my hands, movement feels easier with less sharp pain. In terms of how long the effect lasts, I’d probably say hours, which coincides with how regularly throughout the day you can use this (minimum 4hr intervals). I dare say that in some cases Voltarol won’t be ‘enough’ to ease the pain, or will take longer to relieve it. For me, I find that it gets to work without you realising and keeps the aches and pains away to the extent that it allows you to get on with your life in the meantime. 

… Overall …

Everyone will be different, so whether this works well for you will likely be a case of trying it to find out. I must admit I have been very impressed, especially given as how sceptical I was at first, not being convinced that a gel you rub in to your skin could ever do anything to even touch any aches or pains. It’s not a long term solution nor a fix for such problems, but it’s certainly something that can provide some temporary relief when you need it.

Whilst I was a little weary at first at spending what I considered to be quite a lot of pennies on one tube of this, a little does go a long way. 100g should last a decent while, depending of course on how much you use and how regularly you apply, so I have found this to be a worthwhile investment.

Find Voltarol

Amazon UK : Voltarol Original 100g  &  Voltarol with No-Mess Applicator 100g



  1. January 23, 2019 / 9:15 pm

    I am commenting on an older post of yours, after seeing it pop up as suggestions from another post I have read. I have to say I absolutely love this painkilling gel. I have known about this gel for a number of years and I still use it when needed.
    I find a little goes a long way too and the smell as you say is not overpowering at all. The smell does not bother me with knowing how helpful this gel is.
    My knee was the first time I used, after I shown a reaction to a different cream. This one I have been totally fine with.
    Now, when needed, I use on my elbow, which helps me get me through my shift if troublesome.

    In all the times I have used this gel, only the packaging has changed. I totally recommend this gel.

    • January 25, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment, Liz. Jeeees this is an old post! I’d quite like to freshen it up and post again as I find it really good for certain pains. I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful, especially with your elbow and helping you get through your shift without quite so much pain. I’ve also found it quite good on my shoulders when I’ve had a lot of pain there from tension and ‘knots’ in the muscles. Always worth keeping a tube in the cupboard. Thanks again, Liz 🙂

  2. April 3, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    When I have an “episode”, or crisis, I go into excruciating Rhabdomyolysis, which is muscle destruction.. Because my body cannot utilize fatty acids for energy, during metabolic stress, it will eat it’s own muscles for energy. It is a rare mutation of inborn error.. So, maybe I will look into this product for when my muscles are in their healing cycle. My muscles are cannibals! That sounds weird.

    • April 5, 2019 / 5:21 pm

      Jeeees, your muscles really are cannibals, the greedy things! It must be hard to reduce muscle wastage with that condition, so doing everything you can to help your muscles heal is worth it. Thanks so much for sharing this, Nika xx

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