Essential Oils for Lower Back Pain

A lumbar strain is a stretching injury to the ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the low back-it can be very painful and put you flat on your back. The stretching can actually result in microscopic tears of varying degrees in these tissues. Lumbar strain is considered one of the most common causes of low back pain. It can occur due to overuse, improper use, or trauma. A soft-tissue injury such as a lumbar strain is commonly classified as “acute” if it has been present for days to weeks. If the strain lasts longer than three months, it is referred to as “chronic.” Lumbar strain most often occurs in people in their forties, but it can happen at any age. The severity of the injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the degree of strain and resulting spasm of the muscles of the low back.

Western medicine treats lumbar strains with muscle relaxers, application of heat, massage and eventually reconditioning exercises to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles. Spinal manipulation may help some. Nature in the form of essential oils can offer pain relief for many.

How Can Essential Oils Help?

A muscle responds to pain with a reflex contraction causing blood flow to the area to be impeded. When there is less oxygen and glucose and a decrease in circulation, removal of toxins and waste products will be slowed. The result is inflammation, muscle soreness and pain. There are many essential oils known to be detoxifying, relaxing, pain relieving, and can decrease swelling in muscle tissue.

Here are some examples of essential oils that may help heal lumbar strains and get you back on your feet:

Palo santo–Has high levels of limonene -up to 65% making this an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic oil.  Using a combination of Palo Santo & Frankincense for pain & for bone rejuvenation (including Idaho Balsam Fir) will shorten recuperation time.

Lavender-is vasodilating, a relaxant and is anti-inflammatory.

German Chamomile-is anti-inflammatory and a relaxant.

Idaho balsam Fir-is like 98% monoterpenes including limonene and alpha and beta pinenes. It is highly anti-inflammatory.

Basil-is a powerful antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant.

Cypress-is high in monoterpenes making it a great antispasmodic. It also improves circulation and strengthens blood capillaries.

Marjoram-is soothing to muscles and helps relieve body and joint discomfort. It is used for arthritis and rheumatism, muscle/nerve pain, and headaches.

Peppermint-is anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving.

Wintergreen-is anti-spasmodic, highly anti-inflammatory, a vasodilator, analgesic/anesthetic. It has been used in countless liniments and ointments for musculoskeletal problems.

Helichrysum-has anesthetic and antispasmodic properties. It has shown effectiveness in regenerating nerves.

An excellent massage oil for lumbar strains is Ortho Ease or Ortho Sport both of which contain fractionated coconut oil, wheatgerm, grape seed, almond and olive oils plus the essential oils of wintergreen, juniper, marjoram, red thyme, vetiver, peppermint Eucalyptus ericifolia (Rosalina) and lemongrass. Ortho Sport is the stronger of the two massage oils.

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From Linda L. Smith, Director of the Institute of Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy, a national program in Christian healing.