There is some evidence to suggest that menthol-containing balms like Vicks VapoRub can be effective in relieving minor muscle and joint pain, as well as cold and cough symptoms. For example, a study published in the Journal of Family Practice found that Vicks VapoRub was effective in reducing symptoms of cough and congestion in children with upper respiratory tract infections.
A study published in the journal Chest found that Vicks VapoRub was effective in reducing the severity of symptoms of nocturnal cough and improving sleep quality in children and adults with upper respiratory tract infections.
However, it's worth noting that these studies were conducted on small sample sizes and more research is needed to confirm the results. It's also important to keep in mind that Vicks VapoRub should not be used for prolonged periods of time, or on large areas of the body, as this can cause skin irritation.
It is also worth noting that Vicks VapoRub is not a cure for any underlying illness, it is a symptomatic relief product, so it's important to see a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your health.
In summary, menthol-containing balms like Vicks VapoRub have been shown to be effective in relieving minor muscle and joint pain, as well as cold and cough symptoms in some studies, but more research is needed to confirm the results. It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using any over-the-counter product and to follow the instructions for use on the label.