Essential oils have been all the rage lately and for good reason. They’re natural, holistic, and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. Discover the best essential oils for supporting your back and neck discomfort.
There are hundreds of various essential oils, and they all have unique health benefits that can support the healing of just about any ailment you may be experiencing. From digestive issues to anxiety to neck and back pain, there is an essential oil to help you!
A warning about essential oils
Not all essential oils are created equally. Like all supplements, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. This lack of regulation allows companies and manufacturers to fill essential oils with whatever they’d like – often toxic fillers and chemicals – and label the final product as something else.
Please do your research and purchase essential oils from reputable companies who are certified pure and therapeutic grade quality. Additionally, their oils should be third-party tested, and you, as a consumer, should have access to those results.
I invite you to learn more about the only oil brand Carley uses in her home.
Why essential oils work for discomfort
Essential oils work because they are extremely powerful and concentrated substances that come from the plants around us.
Essential oils are effective for pain, aches, strains, muscle soreness, and more. Many people use essential oils to help neck and back pain if they are seeking a natural and holistic treatment method for managing neck and back pain. Essential oils, when used correctly, come with minimal side effects and health risks, are much safer than popping NSAIDs every day and are not additive and dangerous like prescription pain medications.
In this post, we will explore the best essential oils for neck and back pain, safe ways to use essential oils, and if there are any risks associated with the use of essential oils.
The doctor’s picks: the best essential oils for back and neck pain
There are so many different types of essential oils to choose from, but there are a handful in particular that are exceptional for treating back and neck pain.
First, it’s important to consider where back and neck discomfort can stem from. Often, this pain can come from sore muscles, tension, swelling, strain, etc. and there are specific oils to help with all of these ailments. Let’s take a peek at some of the best options below.
Peppermint oil does wonders for swelling, tension, and pain in the neck and back muscles.
Peppermint contains menthol, which soothes muscles that are sore and achy. The menthol creates a cooling effect on the skin that feels soothing and relaxing to your muscles. Peppermint is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning it will help reduce any associated swelling in the affected area. Shop peppermint now.
We all know that lavender is supposed to help combat anxious feelings, but it is also wonderful for helping with discomfort in the neck and back. Lavender calms and relaxes sore muscles while also relieving the pain associated with it and helping to reduce any inflammation in the area. Shop lavender now.
Eucalyptus has a similar soothing and cooling effect as peppermint, but it is a bit less pungent than rubbing peppermint oil on your affected area. It helps with inflammation and pain and feels both soothing and cool on your skin. Shop eucalyptus now.
Cypress has an earthy and woodsy scent that many people love, but some also hate! Whatever boat you are in, if you have neck and back pain that is also accompanied by tension and swelling, cypress can help with that. It helps to calm inflammation and muscle spasms. Shop cypress now.
Ginger, black pepper and clove
These three powerful essential oils all help with similar things associated with neck and back pain.
They all help treat discomfort and are great for using on the neck and the back. These oils are strong and feel warm on the skin and may produce a slight warming or tingling sensation where you rub them on your neck or back. If you find the oils are too warm, apply a gentle carrier oil to the area.
Safe ways to use essential oils
Despite some fear associated with using essential oils, when used properly and safely, essential oils are safe to use and much less dangerous than drugs.
Essential oils are strong, powerful, and concentrated oils. Thousands of pounds of peppermint leaves are in one small bottle of peppermint essential oil, so taking precautions when using such a powerful substance is necessary.
Since you will be using these essential oils topically to help relieve neck and back pain, more often than not, you will want to use a carrier oil with the essential oil(s) of your choice. A carrier oil dilutes the concentration of the essential oil, making it less intense and powerful on the skin. Sometimes using a pure essential oil on the skin can cause burns or irritation on sensitive skin, so you can avoid this by using a carrier oil.
For some individuals who don’t have particularly sensitive skin can use a gentler oil, such as lavender, without the need for a carrier oil. If you are interested in doing this, it is recommended to test a small spot on your hand before rubbing the lavender oil in a larger place on your body. If no irritation occurs, you can proceed with using the oil on the neck and back.
As mentioned above, you also need to make sure you are using pure essential oils from a reputable company. Low-quality essential oils can be diluted with fillers, chemicals, and other harmful ingredients.
When looking for a high-quality and reliable essential oil company, look for organic oils when possible and ensure the company posts third-party test results that showcase the authenticity and purity of their essential oils.
Risks and worries associated with essential oils
As with most things in life, even with the purest and most natural things, risks can occur. While essential oils are overwhelmingly safe, too much of anything can be harmful. If you only eat broccoli every day is massive quantities, broccoli can become a health risk as well! The same goes for using essential oils.
As we discussed above, certain hot essential oils can cause irritation on the skin if they are not diluted in a carrier oil. To avoid this, use a carrier oil to lessen the strength of an essential oil.
You also do not want to use photosensitive oils in the sun as they can cause burns to the skin. These oils are citrus-based oils and should not be applied before going out in the sun.
In the end, essential oils are a safe, natural, and effective way to treat back pain and neck pain. Give one or more of the above oils a try and get back to feeling your best in no time at all!
About the contributor, Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice includes chiropractors, physical rehab therapists, and massage therapists in Wasilla, Juneau, and Anchorage; and has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack.
He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.