Does vicks help sore muscles?

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they experience sore muscles. Whether from strenuous exercise or just plain old bad luck, it can be an uncomfortable and irritating sensation. Luckily, people have been using home remedies for centuries to soothe these achy areas. One such remedy is the infamous Vicks Vaporub which has long been rumored to help alleviate the pain and tension of sore muscles.

But does it really work? Can this beloved chest balm really provide relief? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind Vicks and its ability to heal those tired muscles.

What is Vicks Vaporub?

For those unfamiliar with this product, let’s start with some background information on what exactly Vicks is made of. This popular ointment contains several active ingredients including camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil which all contribute to its characteristic scent and cooling sensation on the skin.

Additionally, Vicks also contains inactive ingredients like petrolatum and thymol that play a role in increasing blood flow in the affected area when applied topically.

So how do these various components work together to potentially ease muscle discomfort? Let’s explore further…

The Cooling Effect

One of the primary reasons why people believe that Vicks helps sore muscles is due to its signature cooling effect when applied directly onto bare skin.

This happens because menthol stimulates cold receptors throughout our body’s sensory nerves – creating a numbing sensation that can distract us from feeling any underlying pain or discomfort we may be experiencing.

However, while this might provide temporary symptom relief for superficial injuries (like bruises) where there isn’t anything more serious going on underneath your skin–it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re “healing” your deeper tissues…let alone helping make them progressively better over time!

Soothing Aromatherapy

Apart from its physical properties, Vicks also produces a strong scent that many people find calming and relaxing.

The eucalyptus oil in Vicks has been traditionally used as an aromatic remedy to open up congested airways and soothe respiratory problems like coughing or shortness of breath. However, one can argue that it is not the aroma itself but our brain’s reaction to such oils that simulates any relief factor.

If you apply Vicks directly onto your sore muscles area then this could have some therapeutic benefits; perhaps through breathing deeper while inhaling the menthol vapors which helps to infuse blood with more oxygen + nutrients… theoretically speeding up your recovery process!

The Role of Increased Circulation

As mentioned earlier, thymol in Vicks plays a vital role in increasing circulation when applied topically onto skin. Nevertheless, people often disputed if they should invest much time (having got an appointment with their physician) applying ointment on myriads of spots when using deep heat pads provide similar results at larger muscle groups overall far better than relying on camphor remedies.

Heating Up Sore Muscles

Deep heating therapy typically involves coupling two separate mechanisms: infrared energy (via electrical coil method etc.) & a phosphate-based cream/ointment/etc. loaded with “heat” factors like capsicum oleoresin or methyl salicylate–powerful active ingredients known to draw extra blood towards themselves via dilation of capillary vessels…which helps promote healing over larger areas affected by injury i.e., even if you don’t use it only for treating sore muscles you might benefit from other sections too!

Still — what are some possible disadvantages this could bring about? Let’s find out…

Possible Risks Associated With Using Vicks Vaporub for Sore Muscles

Just like any other medication or product available today, there exist associated risks when using Vicks Vaporub for sore muscles. Though it is considered safe for most adults, the following points still need consideration:

  • Risk of Skin Irritation: When applying Vicks, there are risks of skin irritation or allergic reactions to some people–typically those who have sensitive skin or underlying allergies.

If you suspect that you could be vulnerable in any way based on your medical history, apply a small amount first onto undamaged areas before slathering it all over yourself / please stop if you start experiencing any symptoms (such as redness/bumps).


In conclusion, does Vicks really help soothe sore and achy muscles? While evidence might not overwhelmingly suggest all-cure kind relief out here from applying such products but looking at few factors like relieving oneself from cold receptors’ sensation via Menthol, aromatherapy effects give camphor remedy credibility.

However, it may not always worth relying fully given thymol has potential side-effects like allergic reactions etc., when applied without physician consultation over open wounds/irritated skins! Thus our advice would be – use good judgement & prudent application patterns under consideration which should keep things more relaxed than they currently seem.

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