Effectiveness of 10% trolamine salicylate cream on muscular soreness induced by a reproducible program of weight training

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1989;11(1):19-23. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1989.11.1.19.


This research was conducted at Miami-Dade Community College/North Campus, and was funded by Thompson Medical Company, New York, NY 10022. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an over-the-counter topical analgesic cream on soreness elicited by weight training. Soreness was rated four times each day by 34 untrained college students who exercised on 5 consecutive days (arm curls: three sets of up to 20 repetitions using 80% of 7-repetition maximum). Subjects applied either the analgesic or an identical placebo cream over the involved muscles, 4 times per day (double-blind). Elevated plasma creatine kinase (+438%, p < 0.01) in both groups was evidence of muscle damage. Meaningful levels of soreness (>/= 3.0 on a 0-to-10 scale) were reported sooner, and persisted longer, in the placebo group. Whenever soreness was present, levels were lower (p < 0.05) in the analgesic group. It is concluded that a topical 70% trolamine salicylate cream is effective in reducing the duration and severity of muscular soreness caused by exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1989;11(1):19-23.