Back pain is one of the most common problems, which every other individual suffers from time to time. It can range from mild to severe and may induce difficulty in moving (1). The pain can occur in the lower, middle, or upper back area. There are several reasons behind back problems like a muscle strain, disc degeneration, sciatica, traumatic injury, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, etc. (2). Some may cause inflammation while others may damage the tissue. You don’t have to see a doctor for these painful sensations, as you can treat them at home with essential oils.
Owing to the therapeutic potential, essential oils can solve numerous maladies of the body including back pain. There are many compounds in these oils that play a vital role in alleviating pain from the body. Depending on the type and symptom of the pain, different oils can be used for treatment. Let’s have a look.
Essential Oils for Back Pain
1. Chamomile Oil
This oil is either prepared from German chamomile or Roman chamomile.
It has been used to treat back pain for decades due to its anti-inflammatory nature (4). Additionally, several studies have also proved its effectiveness in reducing lower back pain (5). It can be applied directly to the affected area to get relief.
2. Lavender Oil
Trials have shown that application of the oil on the affected area can significantly improve the movement of spine by reducing the pain (7). It also produces a sedative and soothing effect, which is an added advantage (8). Just rub some of the oil on the areas where you feel a painful sensation.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil can provide immediate relief in joints and muscle pain, along with the pain in the lower back (9). It is anti-inflammatory in nature and can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis (including spine), as well (10).
Note: The oil must be diluted before use (11).
4. Ginger Oil
According to various types of research (12), ginger oil can treat a chronic condition of lower back pain just like ginger. As ginger possesses anti-inflammatory properties, the oil extracted from it can also effectively reduce pain and other conditions like swelling associated with it (13, 14).
5. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil, which is used in food preparations, has strong anti-inflammatory properties and therefore, it can effectively heal the problem like spondylitis (a kind of back pain) and provide relief in the same (15). Just massage with the oil regularly until you notice improvements.
6. Peppermint Oil
It is one of the most used essential oil for lower back pain (16). It heals the ache by inducing a calming sensation to the painful areas. If you are wondering how to use peppermint oil for back pain, it really is as simple as all the other oils. All you need to do is, rub some oil on the back after diluting it with any of the carrier oil. Repeat the process every day to eliminate it from the root.
7. Wintergreen Oil
The oil of wintergreen is obtained by the process of distillation and is used in many commercial products like toothpaste, chewing gums, etc. (17).It is now also used for alleviating pain, especially backache from the body (18). Just apply some of the oil to the affected portion and massage gently. Do this daily until desired results are obtained.
8. Juniper Oil
The oil of juniper is said to have analgesic properties that are required for getting relief from pain (19). Take some oil and rub it gently on the painful areas so that it reaches deep down the skin. Repeat it regularly to eliminate the backache completely.
9. Yarrow Essential Oil
The plant of yarrow possesses anti-inflammatory qualities and is prescribed for numerous maladies like a headache, arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc. (20). Therefore, the oil prepared from the herb has the same effect, and it can be used to treat osteoarthritis and other types of pain in the back.
10. Helichrysum Oil
Helichrysum oil is known to have pain-relieving properties and can be used for back pain after diluting it with any carrier oil. Just mix 1 drop of the EO in the carrier oil, and apply it on the aching area (21). Repeat it daily for noticeable results.
11. Thyme Oil
Thyme is considered as an effective herbal remedy for back pain (22). Its essential oil is equally beneficial in healing a backache. Massage a few drops of the oil on the affected areas regularly for the best results.
12. Basil Essential Oil
The oil of basil is one of the best oils to relieve the backache. It is readily available and is used for the treatment of various ailments like intestinal disorder, inflammation, and back pain because of its antioxidant nature (23, 24). Just apply the oil on your back to get relief.
13. Fennel Essential Oil
The herb, fennel, is used for the treatment of pain, especially in the back. The oil prepared from fennel possesses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which makes it useful for the treatment of any type of back pain (25, 26).
- Consult a doctor if the condition does not improve after 3-4 days (27).
- Do a test for allergy before actually using any of the essential oil.
- Do some light exercises and use hot and cold therapy to aid the healing process.