Back pain can be severe, and is experienced at some time by a large percentage of people around the world. Poor ergonomics, prolonged sitting and lack of exercise all contribute to this modern day epidemic. Apart from optimizing the design of your workspace, essential oils are particularly helpful for reducing back pain.
Essential oils are undiluted products extracted from plants for therapeutic purposes. Each of these oils have their own unique aroma and healing properties.
Always try to purchase your essential oils from a specialist supplier.
They will have the necessary expertise to ensure the authenticity and quality of the oils. Some essential oils are too strong to be used directly on the skin as they contain chemical components.
In those cases simply dilute the oils in a ‘carrier’ oil. A carrier oil is a vegetable oil of which coconut oil and wheat germ oil are examples.
Some essential oils not only alleviate tension and pain, but address psychological- and physiological problem areas to restore a natural state of balance to your body.
This oil is a hybrid blend from spearmint and watermint.
It is known for the relaxing of muscles in the lower back stemming from fibromyalgia.
The refreshing aroma comes from the active ingredient menthol, which is a component of the oil. Peppermint oil is more concentrated than other essential oils and it will be necessary to dilute it with a carrier oil such as almond oil.
If you suffer from a painful back, this essential oil can help soothe the pain.
Combine 10ml of your almond oil- or other carrier oil with 2 drops of your peppermint oil and rub on the affected areas as needed.
Whether your back pain is from strain or from a slipped disc, soothing Frankincense can help with your pain and discomfort.
Known also as Olibanum, you can either inhale Frankincense oil, ingest a small amount or apply it topically. It is best used when 2 or 3 drops are mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil.
It is excellent for helping with the relief of back pain and inflammation.
Whether you suffer from muscle pain or lower back spasms, massage frankincense oil into the back and see its effectiveness for treating back pain.
● Lavender Oil
This is a wonderfully affordable and versatile essential oil used to reduce inflammation and spasms in the back. It is great for muscle strain. It’s pleasant, soothing aroma also reduces tension throughout the body.
You can 8 drops of the oil with epsom salts in your bath to loosen up the lower back.
Add 5 drops of Lavender oil to 10ml of your favorite carrier- or vegetable oil and massage this into your aching back where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream.
● Wintergreen Oil
Most of us are familiar with Wintergreen as a pain remedy.
Wintergreen oil has methyl salicylate, a chemical known for reducing stiffness and muscle pain. Mix about 3 drops of Wintergreen oil with 10ml of carrier oil and massage into the painful area of your back.
This essential oil relieves pain and stiffness related to rheumatism and gout.
People use this oil to numb pain and to treat painful joints and muscles. You can either add about 6 drops in your bath to get rid of pain or you can add 3 drops with a carrier oil to have a soothing pain-relieving lotion to add to your back.
● Ginger oil
Great for easing back pain while allowing you to gain back some mobility.
Use it with extra virgin olive oil. Add between 5 – 10 drops of ginger essential oil to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat it in a saucepan, allow it to cool and apply it to your aching back.
You can repeat this 4 times a day to deal with inflammation and soothe pain.
● Chamomile oil
Has great analgesic properties which can soothe painful, inflamed joints and muscles.
Slipped discs and nerve pain such as sciatica can benefit from the calming effect of chamomile.
Add 2 or 3 drops to a carrier oil and massage your sore back. You can also add a few drops to a diffuser and inhale the soothing vapors for about 15 minutes.
Use Thyme if you suffer with backache or inflammation in the joints. There is a compound in thyme known carvacol and it suppresses COX-2 which is an enzyme related to inflammation.
This essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that will penetrate the surface of the skin to reduce pain. Use 2 or 3 drops mixed with a carrier oil and massage into your aching back.
For exceptional results with back pain, apply your choice of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil of choice along the spine 4 times a day.
When your back pain is severe, you can even dip a clean cloth in warm water, wring it out and place it on your sore back after applying the oils. Cover the cloth loosely with a dry towel for 20 to 30 minutes.
Essential oils are a gift of nature with astonishing healing properties when used properly.
When you do research, you’ll discover that some of these essential oils are just as effective than the anti-inflammatory ibuprofen, but without any of the dangerous side effects.
Some oils, such as CBD oil, are probably much more powerful than NSAIDs ever could be!
Combined with other efforts such as proper exercise, diet, and an ergonomic workspace, back pain can be greatly reduced, if not avoided all together.
1. Jon Muller Creating the Perfect Ergonomic Workspace- The ULTIMATE Guide. Available at http://ergonomictrends.com/creating-perfect-ergonomic-workspace-ultimate-guide/
2. Maroon, J., Bost, J., Maroon, A. NCBi. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011108/
3. Rogers, B. Gazette Review. Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen. Available at http://gazettereview.com/2016/09/natural-alternatives-ibuprofen/