A lot of people are affected with back pain at some point in their lives. The pain may result due to an incorrect posture while either standing or sitting. Some individuals suffer from back pain due to incorrectly lifting heavy things or bending in an abrupt manner.
It is also worth noting that most people do not suffer from back pain due to any major underlying cause and will find their back pain disappearing within a few weeks or months. However, in some cases, people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back and this is where essential oils come into play. With that said, let’s see how essential oils can be useful in dealing with issues like back pain.
What Are the Different Kinds Of Back Pain?
Most people with back pain feel soreness in the lower back known as lumbago. This pain may arise anywhere from the neck to the spine. Diseases or injuries can cause back pain too. Here are few of the types of back pain that are generally seen in people:
- Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term problem resulting in soreness and stiffness in the area where the pelvis and spine meet.
- Slipped disc due to spinal damage or nerve being pressed
- Frozen shoulder causing stiffness and pain due to inflammation.
- Sciatica caused due to compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve causing tingling, numbness, and pain right up to the legs.
- Whiplash caused due to sudden impact on the neck.
Why Use Essential Oils For Relief In Back Pain?
Here are some of the reasons why I find essential oils to be the most viable and efficient solution to conditions like back pain:
- Essential oils alleviate and rebuild the damaged tissues
- Essential oils are effective in alleviating pain
- Essential oils improve blood circulation thus helping in faster recovery
- Essential oils are helpful in relaxing the muscles and discouraging spasms
- Essential oils are helpful in reducing inflammation
Which Essential Oils Offer Best Relief In Back Pain?
The choice of essential oils to use will depend on the kind of back pain you have. Some of these essential oils can be directly applied on pressure points while others need to be massaged properly over the impacted areas after blending them with a base oil like Almond oil.
While there are few oils that are safe for oral consumption, users need to read the oil specific instructions carefully before consuming them orally. In addition, some oils can be too potent to be applied over sensitive areas. Here are some of the essential oils I prefer using for back pain relief:
This is the only plant in the world after birch that contains natural methyl salicylate, which is the primary ingredient found in aspirin. Native Americans commonly used wintergreen as a natural remedy for pain. Several studies prove that wintergreen oil delivers cortisone-like effects while being highly beneficial in terms of getting you quick relief from aches and pain. The anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of this oil make it highly useful for conditions like stiff joints and muscular pain.
Also known as the happiness herb and joy of the mountains, marjoram comprises strong sedative properties. The oil extracted from this plant is extremely effective in relieving stiffness, stopping muscle spasms, relieving arthritic pain, and offering relief in migraines. In addition, the oil is useful in relaxing involuntary muscle groups, which includes heart, colon, and diaphragm. For the same reason, marjoram oil is used for treating asthma, constipation, and bronchitis. In addition, it also plays a role in keeping your heart healthy. This oil is also beneficial for people who suffer from distress and emotional trauma.
This is a wonderful oil that helps to regulate blood circulation. When using this oil, a good guideline is to always rub clockwise making little circles moving up towards the heart. Your blood flows in this direction, so you want to always move in the direction of the heart.
Frankincense, also known as the king of all oils, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory oils. This oil is exceptional when it comes to regenerating tissues. In addition, it comes in handy for relieving back pain discomfort too.
5. White Fir
White Fir is a powerful anti-oxidant that has traditionally been used for the relief of exercised muscles and for comforting rheumatic pain. It smells like a Christmas tree, and is among one of the favorites for relieving the discomfort caused by back pain.
The essential oil of the spruce tree is fragrant, sweet and revitalizing. This oil has been used since ages for its ability to center the mind and relax the body, as well as to battle infections. Spruce is also a powerful immune system stimulator that can prove to be very useful in easing the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, lower back pain and sciatica. Spruce is also known to stimulate the adrenal glands.
One of my top favorites of all essential oils for relaxation and pain relief is lavender. This oil is also one of the oils that are easiest on the skin. Lavender has been traditionally used to treat conditions like headaches, insomnia, tension, muscle strain, various kinds of cramps and burns. It is also quite useful in offering relief in cases of extreme back pain. While helping the digestive system in functioning optimally, the antibacterial properties of this oil help a patient to recover from injuries naturally. On top of that, this delicious-smelling oil can help to ease the mental distress caused by mood swings, stress, anxiety and depression.
A staple in Ayurvedic medication, sandalwood is like an elixir for those suffering issues like lymph node congestion, muscle spasms and sciatica. It is also effective in alleviating skin inflammations because of its anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is extremely revitalizing to the skin, smells earthy and rich, and promotes calm mindsets and deeper sleep. It supports both the cardiovascular and digestive systems.
How To Use Essential Oils For Back Pain Relief?
For best possible results in cases of back pain, apply your choice of essential oils along the spine 2-4 times a day depending on the intensity of discomfort. Use just 2-3 drops of one oil, or use 2-3 drops of each if you desire to use more than one.
In cases of severe pain, cover the area with a hot compress after applying oils to help the essential oils go deep inside the skin.
In case you feel that some oil is too harsh for your skin, do not hesitate in diluting it further. The carrier oil I use to dilute my essential oils is almond or coconut oil. However, any good carrier oil will do.
Essential Oil Recipes That Can Offer Quick Relief In Back Pain
Recipe 1: Essential oil recipe for neck discomfort and stiffness caused due to back pain
Mix coconut Oil (1 teaspoon), white fir (3 drops), marjoram (2 drops), lemongrass (2 drops); gently rub this blend onto your chest, on the shoulders and on the back of the neck.
Recipe 2: Liquid morphine recipe for back pain relief
Let us be clear on one thing; this is in no way anything like morphine. This is not going to knock you out. This recipe is a good one that you can use for back pain relief.
In an empty capsule, add 2 drops each of frankincense and marjoram essential oils. You can take this pill two times a day for considerable relief. Do not consume other oils except for those certified as food grade and consult your doctor prior to doing so.
Recipe 3: Back pain relieving essential oil blend
This natural and icy hot blend combines osmanthus, wintergreen, helichrysum, camphor, blue chamomile, blue tansy, and peppermint. Just blend 5 drops of each of these oils in a 30ml glass bottle, fill the rest with a carrier oil (almond or jojoba) and massage the impacted areas with this solution 3 times a day.
You can bank upon this mix of essential oils when it comes to relieving back pain. For easier application, it is also possible to use it in a spray bottle.
Recipe 4: Essential oil recipe for lower back pain relief
Essential oils can easily alleviate lower back pain. Just mix 15 drops of frankincense, 10 drops of jasmine or sandalwood oil to an epsom salt bath and soak yourself in.
Alternatively, you can choose to massage your back with a mix of rose, lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, jasmine and sandalwood. Add 3 drops each of the above-mentioned essential oils and apply twice a day to the affected areas.
Recipe 5: Special essential oil pain relief recipe for lumbago
Mix together the following essential oils in a 10ml bottle: lavender (15 drops), marjoram (8 drops), rosemary (8 drops) and peppermint (15 drops). Shake well and fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba oil. Massage over the affected areas up to three times a day for instant relief.
Recipe 6: Massage blend for slipped disc
Add rosemary (5 drops), peppermint (5 drops), eucalyptus (3 drops) to 1 tbsp of carrier oil (coconut or sesame oil) and massage this blend to the affected areas up to three times a day.
Recipe 7: An excellent sciatica massage blend
Sciatica pain originates in the spine and travels down the back of the leg, generally on one side of the body. Sciatica can be caused by poor sitting posture over time.
Simply add lavender (10 drops), rosemary (6 drops), marjoram (6 drops) to 2 tbsp of carrier oil such as grapeseed oil. Massage this blend over the affected areas two times a day.
If you don’t have time to perfect your blend of essential oils, you could always give l’orpur a go. L’orpur is an essential oil blend consisting of 8 essential and carrier oils ready for use. It is excellent for back pain relief and is backed up with many testimonials.
The Bottom Line
The above-mentioned essential oils do not even start to scratch the surface of the broad selection of essential oils available in this world for pain relief. On top of that, pain relief is just one of the amazing effects of these essential oils. Whatever discomfort life throws your way, check with nature first, it may have an easy antidote for that.