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Using Essential Oils for Back Pain

Published on 22nd January 2024
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Essential oils have a long history of providing therapeutic value for a variety of health issues.
Using Essential Oils for Back Pain
Using Essential Oils for Back Pain

Table of Contents

  1. What are Essential Oils?
  2. Analgesic Properties of Essential Oils
  3. Mixing Essential Oils
  4. Natural Approaches to Managing Back Pain

Essential oils have a long history of providing therapeutic value for a variety of health issues. Early records indicate that ancient Egyptians used aromatic oils as early as 4500 BC for either domestic use or healing, the Chinese and Indians between 3000-2000 BC and ancient Greeks between 500-400 BC for healing. Plants considered medicinal were used for essential oil extract in the 100s, and most are still used today for a variety of health reasons. Among many health conditions the plant extracts may address is back pain. Essential oils may provide natural back pain relief. They may also have a calming effect, reducing anxiety and stress that often accompanies back pain.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the oils extracted from plant flowers, leaves, stems, bark, seeds, fruits and/or roots. A steam or water distillation or pressing process is used to obtain the natural oils. Authentic essential oils are extracted without solvents. The essential oil you buy is concentrated oil.

Since it is a whole plant extract, essential oil contains hundreds of natural constituents that include a high concentration of terpenes and phenolic compounds, which researchers have discovered to have some health benefits. They have been found in various studies over decades to have anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-proliferative properties.

Essential oils are obtained mostly from aromatic plants. They include plants like eucalyptus, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, jasmine and many others. It is by design that many CBD products formulated to deliver specific benefits like relief from pain or reduced stress feelings contain these essential oils. CBD oil and essential oil are both natural oils that can work together.

Essential oils deliver their benefits in two ways: rubbing the oil on the skin and producing a pleasing and calming aroma. This is why common practices are to use aromatherapy for pain management and to apply anti-inflammatory essential oils via massage to help relieve back pain. The essential oil’s phenolic compounds have been shown in controlled studies to have anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation due to disease or injury in muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons causes pain due to pressure placed on the nerves, applying essential oils for backache relief is common.

Essential Oils for Back Pain Through Analgesic Properties

Essential Oils for Back Pain Through Analgesic Properties

Even mild back pain can disrupt life, so anything that helps reduce the pain is beneficial. The soothing oils for spine discomfort can act as analgesics. One of the most common ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is to get an essential oil massage for backache relief, specifically an aromatherapy massage. You get the benefit of the soothing essential oil applied to the skin and the relaxing benefit of the aroma of the essential oil.

There is a proven connection between pain, body soreness and muscle tension to anxiety and depression. Aromatherapy can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress which in turn can reduce pain. More research is needed, but researchers theorize that essential oil molecules bind to receptors in the nose, which in turn impacts the emotional center of the brain. Combine this effect with the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of an essential oil massage, and pain relief is highly likely.

Mixing Essential Oils

You can purchase products made of a mix of essential oils for backache and muscle soreness, or you can follow essential oil back pain recipes. Some of the common essential oils that are often blended for pain include:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
  • Bergamot
  • Wintergreen
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass

Mixing essential oils is a good strategy for achieving multiple benefits, like reduced inflammation and stress which may lead to reduced pain. For example, mixing peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus oils creates an oil mix with anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties and the calming effect of lavender. You can mix peppermint and wintergreen oils with coconut oil to address back or joint pain. A mix of frankincense and myrrh used in massage and for aromatherapy was found to help low back pain.

One suggestion is to mix 15 drops of an essential oil with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, like jojoba and almond oil. Various studies have found that bergamot and lavender can reduce chronic pain and ginger and orange oil may lessen pain and stiffness in the knees. Citrus can lift mood while vanilla supports relaxation.

Natural Approaches to Managing Back Pain

Back pain can be acute or chronic, but either way it affects the quality of life. Essential oils are a natural way to help reduce back pain through use in aromatherapy massage or as aromatherapy alone. The aromatic nature of essential oils can increase feelings of calm, and massage with essential oils may reduce excited nerves while relaxing muscles. They are not a cure for any health condition, but they can contribute to the management of pain.



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