Back pain has a way of robbing your happiness.
It can limit your ability to work and provide for your family. And it can make it harder to do the things you used to love, like exercising or playing with your kids.
It is quite bleak. But there is hope for you, even if your pain is stubborn. There are plenty of natural techniques for treating back pain that are actually effective.
Essential oils can do a world of good for back pain sufferers. Many different essential oils help address the most common symptoms people experience. These essential oils are therefore a great tool to have in your toolkit in the fight against back pain.
Here are five reasons why you should think about using essential oils to manage your back pain.
1. Conventional Treatments Have Mixed Results (At Best)
Back surgery and prescription drugs often leave people in even worse shape than they started.
Depending on the type of surgery, the success rates for back surgery are underwhelming. While some estimates say that up to 70-90% of patients experience less pain within a year of surgery, many have observed something different. A lot of patients have gone under the knife only to find things worse than before. Orthopedic surgeons have seen this so commonly that they even have a term for it: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.
Prescription pain medications come with a price tag, too, and it's not just financial. If non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) fail to provide relief, the next step is often opioid medications. Given the massive uptick in opioid deaths and hospitalizations, you are right to be cautious about prescription drugs.
Natural treatments like essential oils don't get much attention from doctors, but they are potent and have far less risk of giving you side effects… or making your back pain issue even worse.
2. Essential Oils Are Strong Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Whether you're dealing with chronic low back pain, upper-back pain, sciatica, or just general aches and stiffness, anti-inflammatories help. Most of us think of Tylenol or Ibuprofen first, but essential oils can also do the job.
A lot of the most common essential oils can help reduce inflammation:
- Lavender oil
- Ginger root oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil
- Marjoram oil
- Helichrysum oil
- Rosemary oil
And the list goes on and on.
Reducing inflammation will decrease pain and is critical if you want to make a full recovery.
3. Essential Oils Help You Relax
Chronic back pain can make us anxious and depressed and lead to insomnia. All of which only makes the problem worse, of course.
In addition to reducing inflammation, essential oils can ease feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression that are so problematic for back pain sufferers.
Although essential oils aren't clinically proven to treat anxiety and depression, there is a lot of evidence that the right oils can help. Here's a list of 18 essential oils for anxiety and oils for depression to get you started.
Reducing mental tension will help you sleep better, too – another major problem for those of us with back pain.
4. Essential Oils Help With Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms often go hand-in-hand with chronic back pain. Spasms can be acute, painful and can seemingly come out of nowhere. Other times they are chronic and longer lasting. In either case, essential oils can help.
Peppermint oil is one of the best for muscle spasms. Not only does it have an anti-spasmodic effect, but it also helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Other good options for treating muscle spasms are sandalwood oil, helichrysum oil and cypress oil.
5. Essential Oils Are Easy To Use
You can reap the benefits of essential oils in a number of ways. For back pain you might wish to apply them directly to your skin with self-massage. Or, you can inhale an essential oil preparation with a nebulizing diffuser. Perhaps the easiest way to administer them is to put them in the bath, where you both smell and absorb them topically.
Risks of Using Essential Oils
Compared to surgery or drugs, essential oils are relatively low-risk. However, some people have bad reactions to certain oils, and so you should be careful if you're starting an essential oil regimen for treating back pain.
If you are applying them to your skin, always dilute them with a carrier oil. And don't use an excessive amount, especially if you're using a new oil for the first time.