Available in: 40g tubes
Arnicare was never a product that I had plans to review. Then again, you never really have plans to deck out near the end of a five hour training ride in the rain either. What had started out as a positive, exciting day filled with climbs and dirt road scrabbles ended in the Emergency Room with an elbow split in half.
Luckily, it was all flesh wound and nothing was broken (other than my ego). However, the pain was real and I needed something that could get me back on two wheels quicker than not. I credit the misses with picking up some Arnicare Pain Relief Cream, as I had never heard of it.
The premise seemed reasonable: spread the cream, which has a concentrated dose of Arnica montana, on the wonky areas a few times a day. I went to work on the elbow and hip with Arnicare, spreading a thin layer over the bruised areas and around the rashed/scabbed areas at least three times a day.
The white cream is thick like cake icing, but rubs down into a thin layer on the skin. I found it best to apply more than I thought was needed, leaving a film on the skin that would be absorbed over time.
Arnicare has a slightly sweet scent to it with apricot oil, candied pineapple, and light raspberry notes. After you work the cream into the skin, increasing the surface area, there is also a hint of oak-aged scotch. “Officer, I swear it’s this pain cream I’m using.” All joking aside, the aroma is mellow and does not linger.
Now comes the testimonial part. Arnicare. Plain. Works.
After only two days of application, to say there was a noticeable difference in the level of swelling, bruising, and pain would be an understatement. The bruising on my hip was 90% gone. While the discoloration took a few more days to fully subside, Arnicare seemed to stop it in its tracks and cleared things up much faster than the few other times I have crashed.
The condition of my elbow, which was in far worse shape to begin with, was no less startling. Much of the swelling around the torn area had receded, while the the skin discoloration was all but gone. Given that the joint had a severe contusion, there was still a fair amount of pain, but I never really expected Arnicare to take care of that anyway.
There is no doubt in my mind that Arnicare had me back on the bike quicker than if I had not used it. Serious athletes take note of this cream and keep some handy for those not-so-awesome days.
The verdict: Every athlete should have a tube of this in their house.