Every year, millions of individuals visit a doctor with a complaint related to knee pain, making it one of the most common orthopedic health conditions. Sudden pain in the knees is sometimes caused by overusing the knee or simply injuring it.
A healthy knee joint is supposed to allow forward movements, backward movements and rotation of the leg. As the knee joint is extremely flexible in nature, it can support approximately two to three times your original body weight, making it highly susceptible to injury.
In most cases, those that have their knees affected in some way or another experience throbbing pain with a burning sensation. In such cases, the more you move the knee, the worse the pain becomes. While there is no denial to the fact that knee pain cannot be fully cured, it is important to know that using essential oils can offer sustainable relief.
Before we dive into the world of essential oils and aromatherapy, lets first look at the symptoms and causes of knee pain.
Symptoms And Causes Of Knee Pain
The knee is an incredibly complex structure that consists of an articulation of four bones and four compartments. Add in an array of multi-directional tendons and ligaments as well as some cartilage and it’s easy to see why knee pain is a widespread, universal and common complaint. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to treat. But first you have to identify the symptoms and causes.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Typically, the severity and location of your knee pain will vary greatly depending on what structure is involved. The pain itself could be just a minor ache or a severely disabling sting. Other symptoms include:
- General knee weakness
- Pain or difficulty bearing weight
- Limping or compromised walking
- Popping, crunching, or crackling noises
- Extreme difficulty negotiating stairways
- Swelling and stiffness
- Inability to extend knee (locking)
- Redness and warm to the touch
What Causes Knee Pain?
There are many causes of knee pain. However, they can all be grouped into two major categories: Injuries and Medical Conditions.
Fractures – Some of the bones in your knee can break as a result of direct trauma. Not only are knee fractures very obvious and extremely painful, they also immediately interfere with proper knee functioning.
Meniscus Injuries – The menisci act as shock absorbers and comprise of cartilage. Twisting or overstretching the knee tends to injure the meniscus such as is the case with many athletes.
Dislocation – The knee joint can also get dislocated from its ball causing substantial pain and discomfort. It’s one of the most common injuries in car accidents when the knees hit the dash board.
Osteoarthritis – This is a degenerative disease caused by wear and tear of the cartilage. It causes the joints in your knees to grind together.
Baker’s Cyst – This is the buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee causing a tight, uncomfortable bulge.
Gout – This is an inflammatory condition that affects people with high uric acid levels. The acid forms crystals within joints in your body causing swelling, pain, and redness.
The Best Essential Oils For Knee Pain Relief
Like it or not, we live in a world of temporary solutions and quick fixes. From OTC solutions like creams, rubs, and salves to prescribed pain medication, there’s no shortage of treatments for knee pain. Unfortunately, these treatments just leave you more sticky than cured; without any real or long term fix.
Essential oils not only have analgesic properties that relive pain, they also help combat inflammation, bring down swelling, and promote circulation to heal the cause of your knee pain. And the best part is, you can use them topically to reap all the benefits.
Having said that, here are some of the best essential oils I have found to be highly effective in minimizing knee pain.
Recommended Product For Knee Pain
I’ve had a love affair with essential oils for quite a while now and I thought I’d take the time to really put it all in one product: L’orpur Pain Relief Blend.
It contains a selection of premium essential and carrier oils in a proprietary mix and offers amazing pain relief benefits. No need to worry about bottles, measuring devices, buying a myriad of essential oils, and trying to understand how to blend, etc. saving you time and a headache too!
Why not give it a try…you’ll kiss goodbye to knee pain once for all!
Top 15 Essential Oils For Knee Pain
- Basil: is one of the most effective essential oils used by naturopaths throughout the world for knee pain.
- Eucalyptus: is useful in cases of knee pain where swelling is a major concern.
- Ginger: many naturopaths recommend the use of essential oil of ginger for relief in degenerative joint disease, general hardness of joints and arthritis. You can use ginger essential oil while taking a bath or as a hot compress.
- Marjoram: helps in reducing pain and swelling of the joints.
- Lavender: can be used in the form of rub for relief in pain and hardness of joints.
- Mustard: for common knee pain, the essential oil of mustard can be used in the form of massage or while taking bath.
- Wintergreen: is helpful in reducing swelling and arthritic pain; eases the painful joints and hardness of muscles.
- Tea tree: can help reduce pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.
- Peppermint: for chronic and persistent pain in the knee, wintergreen can be used in the form of rub.
- Chamomile: reduces swelling and spasms of the joints.
- Sage: is used to relieve swollen joints.
- Rosemary: an excellent anti-inflammatory for the joints.
- Frankincense: highly beneficial for swelling in the knee joint.
- Geranium: is the essential oil I often recommend for chronic, long-term and persistent pain.
- Clove: helps in reducing pain and swelling of the knee joint.
How To Use Essential Oils For The Best Possible Relief In Knee Pain?
I would strongly advise against using essential oils directly over your skin. Instead, you should always blend them with a carrier oil of your choice as follows:
- A 1-3% dilution; 1% to be used for children (6+ years) and the elderly whilst 2% can be used for healthy adults. You can increase it to 3% if desired.
- To make a 1% dilution, just add 6-8 drops (depends on the viscosity of the oil) of essential oil in 1 ounce (30ml) of carrier oil. You can increase the quantities in the same proportion for 2 and 3% dilution rates. Massage the blend onto the affected areas 2-3 times in a day.
3 Essential Oil Recipes To Help You With Knee Pain Relief
1. Knee joint soaking bath
Here is a wonderful recipe for a joint soaking bath that can offer instant knee pain relief:
- Bath Salt Blend – 1 cup
- Lavender – 3 drops
- Rosemary – 4 drops
- Cypress – 5 drops
- Peppermint – 6 drops
In order to prepare a bath salt blend, mix Epsom salt and baking soda in equal proportions and add this to your bathtub. If you have sea salt or magnesium chloride flakes available, you can add them too. Thereafter, add the essential oils and soak your knee for 15-20 minutes. Repeat twice in a day.
2. A warming massage blend for arthritis in knee
This warming massage blend can easily soothe the tender knee joints. Here is how to prepare this blend for best relief in arthritic knee pain.
- Eucalyptus – 5 drops
- Sage – 4 drops
- Rosemary – 6 drops
- Basil – 7 drops
- Marjoram – 4 drops
- Roman chamomile – 5 drops
- 2 ounces (60ml) of carrier oil (sweet almond / jojoba oil)
Blend the above oils in a glass bottle. Massage this blend on a regular basis onto the tender joints, knees or legs.
3. Powerful essential oil blend for ruptured ligament or torn cartilage in knee
A wintergreen and peppermint oil blend works wonders when it comes to dealing with a knee injury such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of this blend will create a soothing sensation that will help reduce the pain associated with the knee injury.
What you need
- 1 oz. (30ml) carrier oil (sesame seed / apricot kernel oil)
- 9 drops of wintergreen oil
- 11 drops of peppermint oil
- A dark glass bottle
Mix the peppermint and wintergreen oils with an ounce of carrier oil of your choice. Store in a glass container and apply to the sprained knee up to three times per day for prompt recovery.
What To Do If You Experience Knee Pain During Menstruation And Menopause
If you thought that period pain only involved abdominal cramps, you’re very wrong. And if you also thought that menopause was a welcomed end to the vicious cycle of monthly cramps, you’re also way off.
Turns out that it’s quite possible to have period pain even without the period itself. When it comes to joint aches and knee pain in particular, fluctuating hormones can be blamed whether you’re on your period or you’ve already hit menopause.
Here’s why: See, the hormones progesterone and estrogen are both common and affect a woman’s body at different stages of her life. These hormones also influence how your nervous system works, which in turn affects your joints and muscles.
When ovulating, the prostaglandin hormone which is released around this time can cause inflammation and joint aches. That’s why it’s common for you to wake up with aches all over before or during your periods.
I’ve looked for the best essential oils for the job and a recipe that’s been helping women all over the world overcome this pain and discomfort.
Modern Woman’s Essential Oil Soak for Knee Pain
What you need
- Peppermint- 8 drops
- Clove – 6 drops
- Geranium – 5 drops
- Roman Chamomile – 3 drops
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- Warm water
Nothing works better for a swollen of inflamed joint that a nice, warm sea salt soak. The water temperature combines with the healing properties of essential oils accelerate the healing process and relax tense muscles.
Begin by prepping the bath water and pouring it in a tall bucket. Add in the Epsom salts and stir to dissolve – this is also the perfect time to add in your EOs. Once they’re mixed in, immerse your knee and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Repeat twice a day.
A Simple DIY Natural Blend For Knee Pain During Pregnancy
When we talk about pregnancy and knee pain in the same breath, most people usually think of swollen ankles or back discomfort. However, knee pain is a very real, and very painful side effect of pregnancy for many women.
Plenty of changes happen in your body during this time. One of the main reasons why the knees tend to act up is due to the increased weight.
The additional weight of the baby puts extra pressure on your knees causing some discomfort and pain. You can imagine a woman carrying over 10 pounds for months; it’s bound to cause a lot of undue pressure.
However, hormonal changes can also be blamed for their role in knee pain during pregnancy. Somewhere around the third trimester, the body releases hormones that soften and loosen pelvic tendons and other ligaments in preparation of child birth.
These same hormones also cause the knee joints to loosen making things a bit more unstable than usual. That’s why it’s common to experience a dull yet continuous pain in the knees if you stand for too long. Along with the essential oil recipe below, make sure you eat calcium rich foods and try some strengthening exercises.
Mommy-To-Be Roller Bottle Blend for Knee Pain
- Ginger – 10 drops
- Peppermint – 8 drops
- Marjoram – 12 drops
- 2 ounces (60ml) fractionated coconut oil
- Small roller bottle
You’re going to be pregnant for 9 whole months, so you’ll need a remedy that you can carry around. That’s why I chose this recipe because not only is it convenient and easy to make, it’s also quite effective and safe to use during pregnancy. I’ve kept the dilution at 2.5%.
To use the recipe, start by removing the ball from the roller bottle and adding the EOs drop by drop. Shake well to mix everything and then top it off with your fractionated coconut oil. Simply roll the mommy blend on your knees and massage the oils in a bid to get them all over and behind the joints.
Can You Use Coconut Oil For Knee Pain Relief
Short answer, yes! There’s a reason why coconut oil might just be the best remedy for any type of knee pain. According to research, coconut oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as a warming effect that reduces pain and increases blood flow. However, it’s got to be the highly lubricating abilities of coconut oil that allow it to lubricate and loosen stiff joints such as the knees.
Joint Lubricating Coconut Oil Recipe
- 1 ounce coconut oil
- Camphor – 15 drops (or ginger / wintergreen / rosemary)
You can use coconut oil topically to help bring down knee pain and swelling. Just warm up the coconut oil and combine it with about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Massage the mixture deeply into the knee joint three times a day to keep it lubricated and invigorated.
Is Castor Oil Good For Knee Pain
Indeed, much like coconut oil, castor oil also packs a bunch of medicinal properties geared towards repairing and healing the body. One compound known as ricinoleic acid actually gives the oil its anti-inflammatory effect which reduces swelling. What’s more, castor oil acts as a detoxifying agent which cleanses the knee and promotes faster healing.
Castor Oil DIY Joint Pain Pack
What you need
- High quality, pale yellow cold pressed castor oil
- Hot water bottle of heating pad
- Cling film
- Cotton wool or bandage
- Towel or cloth
Soak the cloth in hot water and pour your high quality castor oil on it (careful not to drip). Next, wrap the hot, oily cloth over the knee and then use the cling film to hold it in place. If you have it handy, you can use some duct tape or cellophane to prevent oil spill from the castor pack to your bed sheets. Leave the pack on overnight for maximum benefits.
Can Mustard Oil Be Used As Massage Oil For Knee Pain
Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? Well, turns out that in addition to treating pain, soreness and swelling, mustard oil has actually been used for overall body wellness for years now. As a massage oil, mustard will help ease discomfort and encourage better blood flow to the knees, as well as other joints, ligaments and tendons.
Mustard Oil and Onion Joint Ache Recipe
- 4 teaspoons Mustard Oil
- 1 large onion
Start by chopping the onions into small pieces before throwing them in a blender. Blend for a couple minutes and then strain the extract to get clean onion juice. Add the mustard oil in the onion juice and mix thoroughly. Massage this whacky blend on your knees and other aching joints every night before going to bed.
Best Essential Oils & Recipe for Sprained / Swollen Knee
1. Ginger Essential Oil
When it comes to sprained / swollen knee, ginger essential oil is one of the best oils to tackle the issue. It contains potent healing properties that are ripe with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. So in addition to relieving the pain in your knees and other joints, it will actually bring down the swelling and help your joints heal much faster.
2. Frankincense Essential Oil
Whether your knee pain was caused by a physical injury or early menopause, the healing properties in frankincense essential oil can be used to your advantage. Research shows that frankincense has an innate ability to inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules such as those associated with knee pain. It also reduces inflammation levels and prevents the breakdown of knee cartilage.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is infamous for being one of the most potent vasodilators out of all essential oils. This allows it to increase the size of blood vessels and allow more blood flow and circulation round the body. When used for sprained or swollen knee, it also adds in its strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties to help with overall treatment and recovery.
4. Rosemary Essential Oil
Incredibly rich in antioxidant properties, rosemary also brings a lot to the table when it comes to sprained knee. One of its main antioxidant compounds called carnosol is widely known for focusing on inflammation – making this oil ideal for treating most causes of swollen knee. As a bonus, the oil is sweet-smelling making it a great option for some night time diffusing.
DIY Muscle and Joint Pain Rub
- 12 drops Ginger essential oil
- 10 drops Turmeric essential oil
- 8 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 6 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- Small mason jar
One of the symptoms that come with chronic knee pain is, well… pain. If you’re looking to experience soothing and deep muscle relaxation like never before, you’ll need a rub that you can cook up in no time.
To use this recipe, warm some water in a pot. Add in a saucepan the shea butter and unrefined coconut and melt in the water bath. Once everything’s melted, remove saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool.
After a few minutes, add in the EOs and stir thoroughly to combine everything. Pour the blend in the mason jar and allow it to cool and solidify. Use the rub as a massage oil to work the knees before exercise or after a long day at the coal mines.
Other Natural Therapies For Knee Pain Relief And Arthritis
Apart from essential oils, numerous other natural therapies can be helpful in reducing knee pain. Some of the traditional natural remedies I can recommend include massage, acupressure, acupuncture and magnetic therapy. Knee replacement is perhaps the last option.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture as both techniques utilize the pressure that is applied on the pressure points of the body. Only difference between the two is that acupressure does not involve the use of needles.
As far as magnetic therapy is concerned, magnetic fields increase the flow of blood in the body, making them useful in treatment of knee and joint pain. How that works is that wearing a therapeutic magnet near the knee reduces the pain by blocking pain receptors.
When To See Your Doctor For Knee Pain
Any pain that won’t respond to rest or go away on its own should be checked out by a doctor.
Likewise, severe knee pain from issues like injuries, breakages and underlying health issues should also be looked at by a medical professional.
Even while treating yourself, make sure you consult a doctor if you’re unable to fully extend the knee, see any obvious deformities, are running a high fever or feel like the knee is unstable.
Any Chance You Can Prevent Knee Pain
While you can’t prevent all the possible causes of knee pain, there are plenty of things you can do to both keep the pain at bay as well as protect your knees. These include:
Warm Up and Down – Stretching your legs, hamstrings, and quadriceps both before and after exercise will help keep injuries at bay.
Walk Downhill – Running downhill puts a lot of pressure on your knees. So try not to run on steep inclines, walk instead.
Avoid Rough Roads – If you’re dealing with chronic knee pain, pocked walkways and stony roads can be harmful to your knee health. Try to walk on smooth, paved roads instead.
Lose Weight – Every single pound you add on puts additional strain on your knees, joints, and increases the risk of osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight range is the best thing you can do to prevent knee pain.
The Final Word
Knee pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages.
Research into the use of essential oils suggests that compounds in them reduce symptoms such as pain, stiffness and inflammation in knees as they have excellent pain-relieving and healing properties to adapt to the needs of the body. If unsure, drop me a comment if you would like more information!