Icy Hot is a topical pain reliever that is used for minor arthritis pain, aching joints, and sore muscles. Icy Hot is available in several different formulations, but the brand name is best known for being the best-selling over-the-counter medicated back patch, according to the manufacturer.
The active ingredients in Icy Hot formulations are menthol or a combination of menthol and methyl salicylate.
Some also contain camphor. The ingredients cause a cooling sensation followed by a warming sensation that distracts you from the pain by blocking pain signals sent to the brain. The cooling sensation dulls the pain while the warming sensation relaxes it away.
All formulations are for external use only. There are over a dozen formulations of Icy Hot and different ways of applying it to the skin and to the part of the body where you want pain relief. These include patches, cream, gel spray, stick, and sleeve applications.