Joint pain can afflict people of all ages, even if it is more common in older individuals. Joint pain is often constant, resulting in the constant need to medicate in order to relieve the pain. This can quickly create many problems for people, as they build up a tolerance to pain medication and run the risk of addiction.
Opiate painkillers, while effective, are addictive. Non-opiate painkillers, taken regularly, can cause liver damage. It's no wonder people are looking for safer, more natural ways to manage their pain.
Essential oils can be a safe and effective treatment for both chronic and acute joint pain. This guide will help you understand how essential oils can treat joint pain, and which oils are best for treating it.
Causes of Joint Pain
Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain, so much so that many people don't realize that there can be other causes. There are two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is most common in people over 40, and it's the reason why joint pain and arthritis are associated with old age. This is a condition in which the cartilage between joints begins breaking down. Cartilage serves as a cushion between joints, and without it the movement of the bones in the joints becomes increasingly painful.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age, but is more common in women than men. RA is actually an autoimmune disease- the immune system is attacking the membranes that line the joints. This causes lots of inflammation which, in turn, causes the joint pain.
There are other causes of joint pain, such as bursitis, but the actual mechanism causing the pain is always inflammations of some kind in the joint, except for osteoarthritis.
This means that in most cases you can effectively relieve joint pain by reducing the inflammation. This is why non-opioid painkillers work so well: they're anti-inflammatory medicines.
It's important at this point to note that one potential cause of joint pain is cancer. While essentials oils may still relieve the pain in these cases, they may not remove the cancer. If you're experiencing chronic joint pain, you should always consult a physician to rule out cancer.
Best Essential Oils for Treating Joint Pain
Since treating inflammation is the best way to treat joint pain, your options for treating joint pain with essential oils are nearly limitless. Most essential oils are anti-inflammatory to some degree, and so most will have at least some effect on your joint pain.
Essentials oils do vary in the degree to which they can reduce inflammation, though, and to some degree your results with any given oil will be unique to you, so you'll want to experiment with different oils. That said, what follows is a list of the best oils for treating joint pain.
Basil isn't just for eating- the oil has many medicinal qualities. It's popular for use as a stress-relieving aromatherapy oil and it's known to improve circulation, too. It's been used for centuries for digestive health, and especially for treating nausea. The aroma is believed to be beneficial for respiratory health, too.
Basil is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, too. You could just eat a bunch of basil and get some of the benefits that way, but using the essential oil is probably much more pleasant. This anti-inflammatory quality is what makes basil oil so useful for treating joint pain.
This basil oil is steam distilled from fine Indian basil leaves. If you've ever handled fresh basil, you know just how delicate this herb is. Extracting the essential oils without damaging them requires a gentle process, and steam distillation is the best way to extract the oil without using harsh chemical solvents or damaging the delicate oils.
Lavender has a place on every "best essential oils for..." list, because it genuinely is one of the best essential oils for nearly anything. It's astoundingly versatile, and it's one of the most researched and best understood essential oils in the world.
Lavender's most well-known benefit is as a stress-relief tool, and it does excel in that function. Research has shown that lavender is also a powerful pain-reliever, although, oddly, this doesn't appear to be a result of its anti-inflammatory properties.
In fact, lavender isn't known for being powerfully anti-inflammatory. There's no denying it's ability to help manage pain, though. Some people suspect that this is related to its function as a stress reliever.
This lavender oil is of impeccable quality. It's extracted via steam distillation from fine Bulgarian lavender, guaranteeing a pure and potent oil. You'll find that this gentle extraction process yields an oil that smells just like fresh lavender.
Cedarwood oil is popular for it's pleasing, woodsy aroma, even with people who have no interest in using essential oils for medicinal purposes. You'll find plenty of candles and incense made with cedarwood oil. In fact, most people probably don't even realize that cedarwood has medicinal properties, because they're so focused on the scent.
That's a shame, because cedarwood is one of the most useful essential oils. It stimulates the metabolism, which promotes weight loss. It can help to lower blood pressure. It promotes healthy skin, including treating acne and treating dry, peeling skin. It's a natural sedative that can drastically improve the quality of your sleep.
Cedarwood has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it especially useful for treating joint pain. Blending cedarwood with basil would make for a uniquely potent mix. Look for a cedarwood oil that's been steam-distilled like this one, which is made from Moroccan cedar trees.
Frankincense has a long history of medicinal use. It's one of the oldest essential oils with regard to human use. In addition to being used as medicine, frankincense was considered so special that it was used in religious ceremonies for centuries.
Frankincense is a powerful stress reliever, and it's commonly blended with lavender for an anxiety-busting blend. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are largely responsible for ancient peoples believing in the healing power of frankincense.
Finally, frankincense is a very effective anti-inflammatory, which makes it a powerful natural painkiller. You'll get the combined benefit of pain relief and relieving any anxiety you may have, which can make for very powerful soothing effect.
This frankincense is ideal for treating join pain. In addition to being a high quality oil with all natural ingredients, it's already diluted to the proper strength for your convenience. It comes in a roll-on bottle, so it can be applied directly to the joints in pain for maximum targeted relief.
Ginger is a beloved cooking ingredient in many cuisines, especially those from Asia. As a food and even as a tea, ginger is renowned for its benefits for digestion. Ginger is one of the most popular natural remedies for nausea in the world, and it's very effective.
It should surprise no one, then, that the essential oils which give ginger is distinctive flavor and aroma (and it's stomach-soothing properties) are full of medicinal benefits.
Just like eating ginger root, using ginger oil is an excellent way to soothe an upset stomach. Ginger oil can also help relieve anxiety, like many other essential oils.
Ginger is a strong anti-inflammatory, which is possibly why it's so effective at treating so many other conditions. It also makes it an effect oil for treating joint pain, as it can reduce the inflammation which causes joint pain.
Ginger has been grown in China for millennia, and Chinese ginger is often considered the best in the world. This ginger oil is steam distilled from the finest Chinese ginger for purity and potency.
Using Essential Oils to Treat Joint Pain
Aromatherapy is by far the most popular way to use essential oils, and there's a growing body of research that supports the health benefits of essential oils used this way. Aromatherapy can be a powerful tool.
To use aromatherapy to try and treat joint pain, simply add the oils of your choice to a diffuser and turn it on. A few drops of oil in the water reservoir is all it takes, so this can be a very simple and economical way to use essential oils.
For joint pain, though, many people prefer a topical application. Many people feel that topical applications are better for situations like joint pain, although it isn't really clear if that's true. Nonetheless, topical application of essential oils can certainly be effective and there's no reason to think it's any less effective than aromatherapy. '
To use essential oils topically, you need to dilute them first. Pure essential oils are almost always a strong skin irritant, and they're so concentrated and potent that you really don't need to apply them in their pure state.
Adding a few drops of your oils to MCT oil or olive oil is an ideal way to dilute them. You can then add your diluted oil to a roll-on bottle for easy application. When you're ready to apply the oil, just roll on a thin layer on the joints that are in pain.
Blending Essential Oils
Any one of these oils on its own would work very well for reducing joint pain, but by blending two or more oils together you may be able to experience even stronger pain relief. Even if that doesn't happen, many people prefer a mix of scents rather than just one.
If you're going to blend oils, there are no hard and fast rules. Experiment with different combinations and different ratios until you find a blend you like.
If you don't want to blend different scents together, you may still want to purchase multiple oils so that you don't have to use the same oil day after day. There's no medical reason for this, it's just that having a variety can make the experience much more pleasant.
Waiting for Essential Oils to Work
In some cases, using essential oils will result in immediate pain relief. For many people, though, it make take some time of continued use for the effects of the oils to be felt. Since they work by reducing inflammation, it may simply take some time for them to reduce the inflammation enough to relieve the pain. Keep using the oils consistently to see if you'll experience any benefits.
Chronic joint pain is a common affliction that, in addition to being debilitating in its own right, it can have cascading negative health affects. Joint pain leads to less exercise, which can actually make the pain worse and result in weight gain, increases in blood pressure, high risk of heart disease, and increasing the risk of diabetes. Unfortunately, the most common methods of treating joint pain aren't always a safe alternative.
The strongest and most effect pharmaceutical painkillers are opioids. While these will certainly remove the pain, they have numerous side effects and they're highly addictive, which causes all kinds of problems.
The next best option for pharmaceuticals are NSAIDs, or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. These are medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen; while they're much safer than opioids, prolonged and regular use of these medications can cause liver damage.
Essential oils, in contrast, can effectively treat joint pain without any side effects at all. They're perfectly safe to use, they are completely non-addictive, and they're often cheaper than pharmaceuticals.
Many people dismiss essential oils as a fad, or don't believe in their medicinal properties. These people are missing out, because essential oils are much more effective than they realize. That effectiveness is backed up by both medical research and mountains of anecdotal evidence that shouldn't be dismissed lightly.
All of the essential oils listed here are effective at reducing inflammation, and should provide pain relief for those suffering with joint pain. Buy one, or a couple, or all of them. Once you experience pain relief with no side effects, no drowsiness, no clouded mind, and no risk of addiction, you'll be glad you did.
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