From my own experience, it does seem to reduce pain and give you more confidence in an injured muscle, but you need to be careful to not assume that it has magically healed. A false sense of security is almost more dangerous that knowing you are injured. More mental than physical.
Supposedly, it microspically lifts the skin to help blood flow and reduce pain, inflammation, etc. I'm not sure how the more expensive stuff works, but you can get it at Walgreens.
excited as 2 new rolls have arried.