Chronic back pain is a common complaint in today’s fast-paced, yet highly sedentary world. Many of us are bound to a desk, do not get enough exercise, or have chronic pain issues. There are several conditions associated with chronic back pain:
- Slipped discs
- Pain from weak musculature
Hundreds of hours of work are lost yearly due to chronic back pain, as well as the loss of enjoyment of recreational activities and interactions with family and friends. Chronic pain is also a leading cause in the abuse of prescription pain medications. A natural remedy for coping with chronic back pain can help you take back your life. Essential oils are just one way to help you deal with chronic back pain.
Along with the healing power of essential oils, please consider some minor, yet very impactful lifestyle choices that can also increase the positive effects on your back. For example, slouching over a computer keyboard for hours on end during each and every work day, may lead to to chronic pain
that could easily be alleviated by purchasing a standing desk or taking several short walking and stretching breaks throughout your day. These simple yet profound changes in your work habits, may decrease chronic back pain along with the use of essential oils.
The Best Essential Oils for Back Pain ( Top Essential Brands here )
- Marjoram: Marjoram essential oil works to soothe back pain as it has a warming effect on the muscles and joints. Marjoram was used by the Greeks and Romans to symbolize happiness. It is valued for its calming properties and has a lasting positive effect on the nervous system. These great benefits can help to alleviate back pain through releasing the tension in the musculature that is cause the pain.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is another soothing essential oil that also has the added benefit of a strong anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory effects on the muscles in the back, along with the the analgesic properties of Eucalyptus cause it to be a useful essential oil for chronic pain. It chases away aches, pains, and stiffness cause by injury, overuse, or improper back alignment.
- Lavender: Lavender has long been know if its calming properties. The soothing and calming effects of lavender on back pain will allow for the release of tense muscles. Lavender, like eucalyptus, possess strong anti-inflammatory effects. When used directly on sore muscles the calming effects can be felt almost immediately. Often, when faced with chronic pain, many people report that they also feel great anxiety due to the prolonged exposure to pain. Lavender is a great way to calm the nervous system and to be better able to cope with pain. By relaxing the mind and nervous system, one is better able to sleep and rest, which is an important aspect to dealing with chronic pain.
- Peppermint: Another great anti-inflammatory essential oil is Peppermint. Not only will you receive the reduction in inflammation while using this essential oil, but you will also receive a much needed pick me up from the uplifting scent. The analgesic benefits of peppermint essential oil will help to instantly alleviate chronic back pain.
- Clary sage: Clary sage essential oil has calming and soothing properties, as well as anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Clary sage helps to release muscle tension and stop spasms.
- Sandalwood: Sandalwood may help to relieve muscle spasms in the back. One of sandalwood’s most important uses is to sedate the nervous system, so it helps to reduce nerve pain. This sedative effect can help to reduce the chronic pain in the back.
Now that I know WHICH essential oils to use, how do I use them?
There are several ways to use essential oils for back pain. You may try them rubbed directly to the affected area, use oils in a warm bath, create a massage oil, or use a cold or hot compress.
Bath soak – A bath soak is a good way to soothe tired, aching muscles, relieve arthritis and rheumatism. Put a few drops of essential oil in a hot bath. You can also add 2-3 cups of Epsom Salts to the bath to enhance the effects and to help reduce inflammation. It’s a good idea to mix the essential oil drops in a small amount of carrier oil first and then add to the bath. Carrier oils we recommend are: coconut oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil.
Massage oil – When creating a massage oil, use about 10 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage this oil blend into any body part where your muscles are sore. The best carrier oils to use to create a beneficial massage oil are: coconut oil, jojoba oil, and grapeseed oils. These carrier oils can be found readily in most health food store. You can also find the needed storage containers to create a large batch of massage oil to be used over several days.
Hot or cold compress – If back pain is caused by an acute injury, alternating between cold and hot compresses may be beneficial. When the injury first occurs, use cold compresses to alleviate the immediate swelling. You can add the essential oil of your choice to the compress to boost the benefits of cold therapy.
For strained muscles that do not require the reduction of swelling, you can use a warm/hot compress for 15-20 minutes with the essential oil of your choice.
There are also times when alternating between hot and cold compresses may be of greater benefit. You can use heat for 10-15 minutes, followed by a cold compress, complete with your choice of essential oil. Rotate this process for 3-4 cycles.
To make the compresses, simply fill a small bowl or sink with the desired temperature of water and add a small towel and several drops of the essential oil of our choice. Wring out the towel and place it on the affected area. Also the temperature and the oils to penetrate through the skin and relax your breathing. It will also help to meditate or clear your mind. Allowing your mind to focus on something positive and happy with help your nervous system to calm and will send signals to your nerves that healing is on the way.
What about blends?
There are several essential oils for back pain that can be blended together to create even more healing benefits. When blending oils remember to consider all the healing properties of each oil. When creating blends, use the at least 2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil for each blend. If you find that the essential oils are too strong for your sensibilities or are uncomfortable on your skin, simply dilute them with more carrier oils. Also, experiment with the best carrier oils for your skin. Many people prefer coconut oil because it is readily available in stores, is easy to store in a cool dry place, and it
leaves less oily residue on the skin. However some people enjoy the added shine the Jojoba oil adds to their skin. Simply experiment and test out each oil to best suit your individual needs. Below are some easy blends that you can make to help manage back pain.
- 5 drops of peppermint
- 5 drops of rosemary
- 5 drops of lavender
- 5 drops of lavender
- 5 drops of eucalyptus
- 5 drops of marjoram
- 5 drops of clary sage
- 5 drops of lavender
- 5 drops of lavender
- 5 drops of frankincense
- 5 drops of sandalwood
Remember, chronic back pain can be caused by many different factors. Please see a doctor before proceeding with the use of essential oils. Also, consider some lifestyle changes if your back pain is caused by chronic overuse or repetitive actions, such as sitting at a desk for several hours at a time. A simple change like taking a walk break or a stretch break every 30 minutes may help alleviate back pain. If you are bound to a desk for several hours per day, you may also want to consider purchasing
a standing desk. These desks can allow you the proper back alignment to work long hours without the pain of a misaligned spine and muscle spasms.
Essential oils can be one way to help reduce chronic back pain through the many amazing benefits of their anti inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties.