Here are the best essential oils for back pain relief, how to use them, and blend recipes to use.
Almost everyone experiences some back pain at some time. It could be from lifting too much, an injury, poor posture or even from sleeping wrong.
Back pain can range from mildly uncomfortable to deliberating and land you in bed for days at a time.
You may need to make lifestyle changes to prevent short-term back pain or reduce long-term back pain. Your doctor can help you determine which changes need to be made and how to implement them
These essential oils for back pain can help reduce symptoms so you can get back to your daily activities. If your back pain is severe or lasts for a long time, consult a medical professional for advice.
Back pain can be from joints, bones, or muscles. The best essential oils for back pain to use depend on the cause of your back pain.
Peppermint is the most common essential oil for back pain. It has more than 44% menthol, which is a natural analgesic to reduce pain when used topically.
Menthol feels cooling on the skin. It can help reduce pain from sore muscles.
The scent of peppermint can also boost your spirits and reduce stress with its fresh, crisp scent. It can be used in a diffuser for these benefits.
Wintergreen is similar to peppermint because it’s also an analgesic. Instead of menthol, it has methyl salicylate.
Methyl salicylate is similar to aspirin, so talk to a doctor before using it if you are taking any blood thinners.
Lemongrass isn’t a common essential oil for back pain, but it does have some research to back it up.
According to a study, it is an effective anti-inflammatory essential oil and can reduce inflammation and thus pain, but it hasn’t been studied on people.
Ginger is a popular oil to use topically for pain. It’s warming, so it makes a great blend with peppermint.
In one study, it was shown to be effective at reducing inflammation for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Lavender essential oil can be used both topically and in a diffuser for aromatherapy. It is a relaxing oil, so it can be used alone or in a blend to calm you when you are in pain.
Lavender can also help to relieve muscle pain when used topically.
Eucalyptus essential oil can be used as a natural anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation in joints and muscles. It can be used both in a diffuser and topically.
While chamomile is more often used in skin care or for calming, it can also help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms.
Don’t use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed because it can cause a similar reaction.
Like peppermint, rosemary is a natural analgesic. It can also help reduce inflammation when used topically.
Sandalwood essential oil isn’t commonly used among essential oils for back pain, but it can help reduce back pain similar to an over-the-counter pain reliever. It helps reduce inflammation and, therefore, pain.
Copaiba isn’t a common oil, but it’s a great one for pain relief. It can reduce inflammation when used topically alone or in a blend.
It’s a natural analgesic to fight pain and a natural anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation. In a study, patients reported 50% less pain when given a massage with copaiba essential oil.
Marjoram has antispasmodic properties to help with muscle spasms. It can also help reduce pain when used topically. When used in a diffuser, it promotes stress relief.
Frankincense essential oil is a good oil to use for aromatherapy. It can help reduce tension and relax you when used alone or in a blend.
The best way to use essential oils for back pain is by topical application. There are a few different ways to use essential oils topically for back pain.
You can use oils topically by diluting them with a carrier oil. Never use essential oils topically without proper dilution.
If you are using them topically, use a 1% dilution, or 3 drops essential oil per 2 teaspoons of carrier oil, for large areas of the body or frequent use.
For short-term use, you can up to a 3% dilution, which is 9 drops of essential oils per 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.
A common way to use essential oils for back pain is by massaging your back with the diluted oil.
Another convenient way is to use a roller bottle. I like using a roller bottle because you can use it on the go.
You don’t have to wait until you get home to use it. If you are away from home and need to soothe your sore back, all you need to do is find somewhere private, such as the bathroom and roll it over your back to get relief.
A lot of the above essential oils mentioned are not kid friendly. Some can be dangerous especially for a child under age 5.
For example Wintergreen EO has methyl salicylate which is similar to aspirin. This should never be used in anyone under the age of 21 (just like aspirin).
Then there is peppermint EO which can be neurotoxic to a child under 5 years of age. It should never be applied to or around the face of a young child.
Rosemary EO and Eucalyptus EO should not be used in children under the age of 10 years. It is important to keep both away from the face infants and young children due to respiratory concerns.
I’m not trying to scare you, but essential oils are concentrated. Just because they are natural does not mean there are no warnings or concerns to be aware of when using! It is important to always research the oil you are going to use on a child.
Also use a reliable source such as Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young the authors of “Essential Oil Safety”. They also have a great website with lots of information on safety which you can find here.
Always, do a skin patch test prior to topically using an essential oil you have never used before! See my sections on essential oil safety:
Try one of these blend recipes to reduce back pain.
The easiest way to use essential oils for back pain is with a roller blend. You can apply it to your body without getting it on your hands.
You can use a 10 ml roller bottle or a larger 30 ml roller bottle. The 30 ml bottles have a larger roller for easier application.
Add essential oils to the roller bottle. Fill with a carrier oil. Place the cap on and roll in your hands to mix.
Triple the recipe if using a 30 ml roller bottle. Use lower dilution rate if you are using this often. Use full recipe for short-term pain.
Use this as a massage oil to relieve back pain. Hemp seed oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties, so it makes a great carrier oil for massage.
Sesame oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil are dry oils, so they soak in quickly and won’t leave you feeling greasy.
Combine essential oils and carrier oil. Shake gently to combine. Massage where you feel pain. Use a lower dilution for long-term use.
Related: DIY Pain Relief Salve Recipe
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. It is always recommended that you seek the advise of your private medical doctor.