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The best essential oils for back pain with 5 effective recipes

By Alison Angold | Qualified Aromatherapist | CIDESCO ITEC

Back pain is extremely common and can be caused by a variety of different reasons, from purely sleeping awkwardly a pulled muscle, or more serious spinal issues. Some back pain will need the intervention of a professional like a doctor, osteopath, or physiotherapist, and if you are in constant, acute, and sudden pain, the pain should be investigated.

However for less severe pain, or in the interim of a professional appointment, the use of essential oils could be a natural and simple way to alleviate back pain.

A lady sitting on a table with a doctor manipulating her back.  Essential oils for back pain.

the best essential oils for back pain

There are quite a few essential oils that will help to relieve back pain but the very best ones are;

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • Black pepper
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary

This is because these ones have most of the therapeutic properties that can help with many different aspects of back pain.

A 2015 scientific study showed that clary sage, chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary are effective at reducing muscle aches, muscles spasms and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Therapeutic properties of essential oils for back pain

Each essential oil comes with a variety of therapeutic actions which means the particular effect that the oil will have on the body or mind. To help relieve back pain the actions we want the oils to have are;

Analgesic – this means that it will give pain relief to the area the oil is applied to.

Antispasmodic – these oils will reduce or prevent muscle spasms

Anti-inflammatory – this action will help to reduce any inflammation in the area

Relaxing – this will benefit any area suffering pain by relaxing the muscles and associated tissues

Warming – by warming the area this will encourage blood supply that can help to ease pain, spasms and inflammation.

Essential oils for back pain

Back pain can come in many different forms; specific or general pain, inflammation or a pulled muscle, muscle spasms, or simply just tense and tight muscles giving us pain. Here you can find the particular oils for the specific issue you are suffering with.

  • Analgesic essential oils – Chamomile, Lavender, Black Pepper, Clove, Juniper, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus
  • Anti-inflammatory essential oils – Chamomile, Lavender, Black Pepper, Clary sage, Melissa.
  • Antispasmodic – Chamomile, Lavender, Clary sage, Clove, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Marjoram, Melissa, Peppermint, Rosemary
  • Relaxing – Chamomile, Clary sage, Lavender, Juniper, Marjoram
  • Warming – Thyme, Orange, Marjoram, Juniper, Ginger

how to use essential oils for back pain

The best way to use essential oils to alleviate back pain is blend together a muscle rub to apply directly to the affected area. The base for the rub can either be an oil, such as sweet almond oil, or a plain body cream.

Choose the recipe that suits your particular need.

General aches and pains

This is an ideal recipe to have on hand to use regularly, for whenever you feel stiff, achy or to get your muscles warmed up in the morning. All three of these oils have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and relaxing properties, so ideal to warm, relax and ease the muscles. Blend together and store in an amber glass pump bottle – this makes it easy to apply each day if needed.

  • 50 ml Sweet almond oil
  • 8 drops Chamomile
  • 8 drops Lavender
  • 8 drops Clary sage

Read more on CLARY SAGE benefits and recipes.

Muscle spasm relief

The essential oils in this blend will help to relieve and reduce muscle spasms or twitches. It is ideal for occasional use, when these occur but can be used more often as a preventative. The chamomile and marjoram are both also relaxing so helps to soothe and relax the area. Blend and store in an amber glass bottle.

  • 50 ml Sweet almond oil
  • 8 drops Chamomile
  • 8 drops Marjoram
  • 8 drops Rosemary

More ROSEMARY RECIPES here.

Anti-inflammatory blend

If your back pain is causing redness, inflammation or any irritation to the area, then this blend is for you. The oils will help to reduce inflammation, while also encouraging blood supply and relaxing the area. Due to the stimulating black pepper, this oil should be for occasional or short term use only.

  • 50 ml Sweet almond oil
  • 6 drops Black pepper
  • 9 drops Clary sage
  • 9 drops Melissa

Tense muscle relief

Stress or anxiety, sleeping awkwardly or sitting at a desk all day, can all cause muscles to tense up, so this blend can be used regularly to help keep the muscles relaxed and ease tension. The addition of juniper helps to warm and relax the muscles, while the chamomile and lavender reduce inflammation and relieve any associated pain.

  • 50ml Sweet almond oil
  • 9 drops Chamomile
  • 9 drops Lavender
  • 6 drops Juniper

Fitness oil

A lovely fresh smelling blend, that is good to use to warm and relax muscles, either before or after exercise. Blend together and store in an amber glass bottle.

  • 50ml Sweet almond oil
  • 8 drops Thyme
  • 8 drops Orange
  • 8 drops Juniper

how do essential oils for back pain work?

So, there is definitely some scepticism surrounding the use of essential oils and will they actually work. Essential oils are the pure oils that are extracted from flowers, herbs, fruits and tree’s. The oils are so pure and fine that they can be absorbed by the skin and penetrate into the deeper layers. From here they be absorbed by the bloodstream and the muscles.

In addition each essential oil has its own unique chemical composition, which have effects on the body or the mind. In the case of essential oils for back pain, the effects are principally pain relief, relieving spasms, inflammation and releasing tension from the muscles.

Studies have been carried out to prove the efficacy of muscles to help with back pain.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, that has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.