15 Essential Oils for Muscle Pain

Essential Oils for Muscle Pain

Almost everyone can recall a time in their lives when their muscles were achy and painfully tender as a result of something or another.

Muscle pain varies from mild, manageable discomfort to excruciating and debilitating pain. The most common areas for muscle pain in the body are the neck, back, hands and legs but unfortunately any body part can be affected. Muscle pain can target small and specific areas of the body or it can wreak havoc with a few areas simultaneously.

Why Do I Have Muscle Pain?

The most common causes of muscle pain are strenuous exercise, tension and stress, minor injuries, poor posture and cold or damp weather conditions.

These causes of muscle pain are usually localized to one or a couple of points in the body, affect only a few muscles and the causes are generally easy to pin-point. Systemic muscle pain is mostly caused by a bodily infection or a strong bout of the flu, a side effect of medication or an illness.

Myalgia (pain or discomfort in a muscle or group of muscles) can also be as a result of medical conditions, such as rheumatism, arthritis, fibromyalgia, a slipped disk, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and thyroid problems.

How Do Essential Oils Help Muscle Pain?

I think that it goes without saying that the pain associated with sore muscles is something that we’d all like to avoid and to eliminate as soon as possible. Essential oils for muscle pain have been used for centuries to relieve inflammation, discomfort and pain.

Not only are essential oils all natural and holistic with no pesky or dangerous side effects, but the properties in essential oils are similar and occasionally even more successful at alleviating pain than many over-the-counter analgesics.

As a result of this, essential oils can even be used as a daily remedy to combat long-term muscle pain.

Essential oils for muscle pain usually contain anti-inflammatory, anti-spasm and anesthetic properties and can be used alone as well as mixed into wonderfully soothing blends. The essential oils for sore muscles that I personally recommend can be found listed below.

List Of Essential Oils For Sore Muscles

1. Lavender Essential Oil

lavender essential oil for muscle pain

A hospital in a bottle, this well-known essential oil is always my go-to in the face of pain. A natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic and mild sedative, lavender oil applied directly to tender muscles can relieve muscle aches and pains very effectively.

My favorite Lavender oil is from Plant Therapy. Click here to find it on Amazon.

Massaged into the affected area, diluted in a hot bath and even inhaled before bed, this oil not only aids in sleep but will provide the much desired relief from muscle pain and discomfort, ease swelling and do wonders for blood circulation.

A study published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, confirmed the benefits of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that are contained in lavender oil when used topically as well as in a diffuser. During the clinical trials, it was proven that when applying the oil directly to the skin for pain alleviation, it was equally as effective as some pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories and analgesics.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

peppermint essential oil

Acquired from a natural hybrid of watermint and spearmint, peppermint essential oil makes for an excellent muscle healer and reliever of pain and discomfort. It’s refreshing, cooling and analgesic properties as well as its nostalgic, menthol scent do wonders for muscle cramps, arthritis, fibromyalgia, backache and myofascial pain syndrome when applied topically.

For those searching for a trustworthy peppermint oil brand, head over here.


3. Black Pepper Essential Oil

black pepper essential oil for depression

Another excellent essential oil for muscle pain is black pepper oil.

Known for its comforting and warming properties, the compounds in black pepper do far more than just season one’s dinner. This essential oil increases blood circulation to the sensitive muscles, reduces inflammation and is even antibacterial.

Black pepper oil if applied to the painful areas, can assist with everyday muscular aches and pains, arthritis and backache.

Additionally if black pepper oil is used prior to exercising, it can also prevent post-workout pain as well as reduce muscular stiffness.

If you’re looking for a recommendable black pepper oil, be sure to check over here.

4. Marjoram Essential Oil

Once recognized as being a symbol of joy and happiness in ancient cultures, the soothing and positive effects of Marjoram essential oil on our immune and nervous systems are truly quite remarkable.

This spicy, warming and edible oil is an antispasmodic, an anti-inflammatory, an analgesic and even acts as a mild sedative which provides relief from chronic pain and discomfort.

Marjoram should be an immediate go-to essential oil for sore muscles as a result of over exercising, osteoarthritis, stomach cramps and rheumatism. A definite must-have in the medical kit.

5. Helichrysum Essential Oil

helichrysum essential oil for muscle pain

Bursting with a wealth of therapeutic and healing compounds, Helichrysum essential oil is an incredible essential oil for sore muscles and is the top essential oils in assisting with the painful muscles associated with fibromyalgia.

This oil is sometimes hard to come by, and there are many diluted or less potent varieties available for very low costs, but for the full benefits you will want to make sure you’re using the Helichrysum Italicum variety. You can find my favorite, from Plant Therapy, on Amazon by following this link.

Being an anti-spasmodic, analgesic, anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory, Helichrysum essential oil is particularly helpful in improving blood circulation and muscle pain, and is a wonderful natural remedy for sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatic conditions, nerve pain and sciatica.

Not only does this essential oil improve blood circulation but it also assists in repairing blood vessels and nerves which all combat the pain associated with aching and tender muscles.

The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology discovered that helichrysum relieves pain in three ways; namely, it destroys free radicals in the body, lessons inflammatory enzymes and reduces swelling.

6. Rosemary Essential Oil

Any sufferer of muscle aches and pains can fully understand why Rosemary essential oil was considered to be sacred by the ancient Romans, Egyptians, Hebrews and Greeks.

Excellent as a brain tonic and memory enhancer, rosemary oil is also a very helpful essential oil for muscle pain relief, aches, inflammation, arthritis and rheumatism.

Rosemary oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged directly onto the tender area. As was proven by the University of Maryland, this allows the oil to act as an analgesic as well as improve blood circulation, which is particularly helpful in pain management.

Take a peek right here for a rosemary oil brand that I can’t seem to get enough of.

7. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is proof that dynamite really does come in small packages.

Wonderful at soothing a number of painful autoimmune aliments such as, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus; ginger oil is a secret weapon in the face of muscle stiffness, achy joints and muscular pain.

Massage the affected area with a few drops of diluted ginger oil for instant pain and discomfort relief. The anti-inflammatory, warming and analgesic properties of ginger oil has been proven to offer similar pain-relief to medications such as Ibuprofen and can be used as a treatment for painful menstrual cramps, muscle spasms and muscular inflammation.

Look right here for my personal favorite brand of ginger oil from Eden’s Garden.

8. Thyme Essential Oil

thyme essential oil

Proven to be an effective essential oil for sore muscles, Thyme essential oil has been used for hundreds of years across cultures and nations, and is still recognized today as a natural remedy for backache, muscular pain, sports injuries, inflammation and relief from acute and chronic pain.

The Journal of Lipid Research determined that thyme oil contains an enzyme that suppresses inflammation as well as pain in the body. A whizz at multi-tasking, thyme oil is especially helpful in treating arthritis and rheumatism. This is because when the oil is applied directly, it is able to lower blood pressure while simultaneously increasing blood circulation.


9. Cypress Essential Oil

With its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as its ability to improve blood circulation, cypress essential oil is yet another excellent essential oil for muscle pain.

Assisting with muscle cramps, spasms, pulled muscles, restless leg syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome and easing chronic pain, cypress essential oil is a fine natural remedy for sufferers of sore muscles.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes found that when people with restless leg syndrome used cypress oil topically, they experienced a reduction in spasms, improved blood circulation and an alleviation of pain. A win-win for all.


10. Chamomile Essential Oil

When I think of chamomile my mind immediately associates the delicate, white petaled flowers with soothing and calming images.

Used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, chamomile oil is a superb essential oil for sore muscles, inflamed joints and muscles. If taken internally, this oil can ease stomach cramps and if used topically it can ease rheumatic pain, muscle spasms and backache.

Saving the day with its analgesic, relaxant and anti-inflammatory properties; chamomile essential oil carries a hefty punch in combating muscular pain. The chamomile plant has been proven to contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids that are able to easily penetrate the body’s skin and significantly ease inflammation and soothe the tender muscles.

Struggling to source a reputable chamomile oil? We’ve got you covered. Look no further than here.


11. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

eucalyptus essential oil for muscles

Is there anything that this oil isn’t good for? This pungent, minty-smelling super-hero fights an endless list of ailments.

However, since we’re focusing exclusively on muscle pain for today, you should know that eucalyptus oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever for sore muscles pretty much anywhere on the body.

If you’ve never used Eucalyptus essential oil before, or you’re looking for a new source, try this one on Amazon.

Applied directly onto the body or even inhaled this oil offers much relief from backache, neck ache, post-workout throbbing, minor injuries, and arthritis.

A clinical trial discovered that patients who simply inhaled eucalyptus oil post-surgery experienced lower blood pressure levels and a reduction in pain.

12. Sandalwood Essential Oil

With its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, sandalwood oil is a very comforting and soothing essential oil for muscle pain sufferers.

It works by relaxing the muscles, sedating the nervous system and when combined with a carrier oil, makes an excellent home remedy for killing the pain associated with achy muscles, sore knees and rheumatic conditions.

A study published in the Planta Medica journal discovered that when sandalwood oil gets inhaled, a relaxing effect occurs and the production of adrenaline in the body is diminished. A different study also concluded that sandalwood’s pain-relief qualities are equal to ibuprofen and other Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


13. Juniper Essential Oil

juniper essential oil for sore muscles

Hooray for the existence of juniper oil! Massaging sore muscles with this oil is a sure fire way to ease stiff muscles and pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis and tender muscles caused by a competitive spin-class the day before.

Fortunately this natural analgesic can be used in a variety of ways to relieve muscle pain. Rubbed straight into the skin, added to a hot bath or used by applying a juniper berry compress directly onto the hurting area.

Be sure to check right here for a top-notch juniper oil that gets my enthusiastic nod of approval.

14. Wintergreen Essential Oil

Taking its pain-relieving job very seriously, wintergreen essential oil is here to assist those with chronic back pain, muscle aches, sports injuries and arthritis.

Wintergreen’s pain-relieving quality was recognized by the Native American’s who benefited significantly from the oil for centuries and used it extensively for pain management.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine established that wintergreen offers a tremendous reduction in pain for those suffering with lower back pain.

It was concluded in the study that carrier oil containing 2.5% of wintergreen oil massaged into the lower back, provided the same pain relief as 325mg of aspirin. The advantage of Wintergreen being that it is natural and has no negative side effects. Found in nature, proven by science.


15. Arnica Oil

Used to relieve pain from the 1500’s, Arnica oil contains helenalin, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, making it a phenomenal essential oil for muscle pain caused by exercise, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel and muscular inflammation.

Arnica oil is able to stimulate the flow of white blood cells, assisting congested blood to dissolve, as well as freeing trapped fluid from the muscles; all of which successfully alleviates muscular tension and pain.

A study found in Rheumatology International proved that application of arnica oil directly to the participant’s hands offered significant relief from the pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Another study in the European Journal of Sport Science discovered that people who used arnica oil after rigorous physical training experienced less muscle pain 72 hours afterwards.

Essential oil blends for muscle pain

Muscle relief oil blend

4 drops roman chamomile essential oil

4 drops lavender essential oil

3 drops peppermint essential oil

1 drops clary sage essential oil

Combine it all with 4 ounces of your choice of carrier oil.


Achy muscles and rheumatism oil blend

10 drops rosemary oil

6 drops juniper berry oil

8 drops lavender oil

Mix with 1 ½ ounces of carrier oil of your choice and apply topically as needed.


Tired muscle rub

4 drops peppermint oil

4 drops thyme oil

4 drops lavender oil

3 drops marjoram oil

Mix all essential oils together first and then mix with 5ml of your favorite carrier oil.

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