Best Essential Oils for Pain Management – Back, Nerve, Neck, Shoulder & Knee


Essential Oils for Pain

Pain is an inevitable aspect of life that can get in the way of living. Whether the pain comes suddenly or slowly builds over time, quick relief becomes the primary focus. Traditional medicine can cause adverse reactions with long term use, making natural remedies an attractive form of pain relief. Essential oils are proven to be helpful in providing pain relief. In fact, there are many essential oils for chronic pain that may provide just the relief that you are looking for.

Best Essential Oils for Pain

When it comes to pain relief, essential oils can often provide natural pain relief without uncomfortable side effects. Searching for what essential oils are good for pain can seem like a daunting task, with over hundreds of oils to choose from. With natural pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties, the following are the best essential oils for aches and pains.

Wintergreen Essential Oil for Pain

The benefits of wintergreen essential oil, stem from its main compound, methyl salicylate. Its analgesic effects rival that of the traditional over-the-counter painkillers, such as aspirin. When wintergreen essential oil is applied topically and fully absorbed, it represents the same salicylate as a 325 mg aspirin tablet. Theoretically, analgesic essential oils such as wintergreen could provide comparable pain relief.

When looking for essential oils for toothache pain, in particular, wintergreen essential oil may prove to be a powerful natural remedy. The cool and refreshing sensation provides a numbing effect when applied externally to the affected area. Similarly, wintergreen essential oil is also one of the best essential oils for muscle pain as the cooling analgesic effects provide quick pain relief to sore muscles.

Frankincense Essential Oil for Pain

The therapeutic benefits of frankincense essential oil include natural pain relief and wound healing properties, and is often regarded as the best essential oil for inflammation. In a 2003 study, patients with osteoarthritis knee pain were given either frankincense essential oil or a placebo. The group that was given the frankincense essential oil reported improved knee movement, better range of motion, increased ability to walk for longer distances, and an overall significant decrease in knee pain. Frankincense may also be one of the best essential oils for joint pain.

The powerful anti-inflammatory properties also make frankincense essential oil one of the most effective essential oils for breast pain. Many women experience severe breast pain due to pregnancy or during menstrual cycles. According to the International Journal of Childbirth Education, this warming essential oil provides comfort and relief to breast tenderness. Similarly, it’s also one of the most recommended essential oils for menstrual pain, due to its anti-inflammatory properties and warming effects. Stomach pain that is caused by menstruation can be alleviated with frankincense essential oil, as well, as it is one of the top essential oils for stomach pain.

In order to use frankincense essential oil for pain related to menstruation, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba, and gently massage into the skin.

Frankincense essential oil is among the top essential oils for sinus pain. The anti-inflammatory properties combined with its antiseptic activity make it an excellent natural remedy for each of these ailments. In fact, it’s such a beneficial essential oil for the entire respiratory tract it’s often one of the most recommended essential oils for chest pain by aromatherapists.

Pain Relief Frankincense Recipe

The known properties of frankincense essential oil put it at the top of the list of essential oils for neuropathy pain. Neuropathy pain is often the result of malfunctioning nerves, frequently caused by injury or disease, such as diabetes.1 Frankincense essential oil is often prescribed to treat diabetic foot infections, as a result. To make your own pain relief oil, add 2-4 drops of frankincense essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil, and gently massage onto the affected area.

Lavender Oil for Pain

One of the most notable benefits of lavender essential oil is its calming and relaxing effect. This combined with its pain reducing properties makes it one of the best aromatherapy oils for pain relief. When administered oxygen infused with lavender essential oil, biopsy patients reported better pain control than those who received plain oxygen.


This aromatic essential oil is not only one of the best essential oils for pain management, but is also an incredibly versatile oil that can be used to reduce inflammation and improve sleep quality that may otherwise be compromised by pain. With its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, it also proves to be an effective essential oil for ear pain.

Lavender essential oil has also traditionally been used for stomach issues, loss of appetite, and liver and kidney problems. Many people use lavender essential oil for gas pain because of its well-known digestive benefits.

Lavender essential oil may be one of the more suitable essential oils for fibromyalgia pain, as well. It can help reduce the anxiety and stress associated with fibromyalgia while also gently providing pain relief.2

Ginger Essential Oil for Pain

The properties of ginger essential oil make it an incredibly versatile ingredient when it comes to pain relief. According to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, ginger essential oil helped reduce stiffness and pain intensity among patients with severe knee pain. 

In another study in 2014, ginger essential oil was combined with a carrier oil to be used during a massage treatment for patients with chronic lower back pain. After being massaged twice a week for five weeks with the oil mixture, participants experienced significantly reduced back pain.

Chamomile Essential Oil for Pain

Chamomile essential oil’s best qualities include powerful pain-relieving and anti-stress properties that can help relieve irritated joints and muscles. Chamomile essential oil has also been shown to demonstrate natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Pain

Eucalyptus essential oil’s benefits stem from its notable pain-relieving properties. In a 2013 study, patients with osteoarthritis who inhaled eucalyptus essential oil for thirty minutes over three consecutive days reported a significant decrease in pain. They also had reduced blood pressure after the experiment, hinting to its calming effects, as well.

To use eucalyptus essential oil in aromatherapy, place a few drops into a diffuser and let the soothing aroma fill the air. Inhale for at least thirty minutes each day as the pain continues.

Rosemary Essential Oil for Pain

Clinical trials have shown that the benefits of rosemary essential oil may be due to certain bioactive compounds that help reduce pain and swelling. Inhaling rosemary essential oil via aromatherapy has also been shown to reduce perceived pain, as well. As such, it’s commonly recommended as a pain-reducing option for arthritis and inflammation.

Essential Oils for Back Pain

When searching for the best essential oil for back pain, it is first important to understand the cause of the pain. Whether the pain is caused by inflammation, nerve pain, or menstruation can greatly determine what essential oils are good for back pain relief.

Ginger essential oil is one of the best essential oils for lower back pain, thanks to its pain-relieving properties. Its well-known properties have been studied time and time again, making it one of the top recommended essential oils for back pain.

Wintergreen essential oil provides a cooling and numbing sensation, making it one of the most popular essential oils for back pain relief. The analgesic effects help eliminate the pain signals to the brain, thus reducing overall experienced pain.

When it comes to essential oils for pain, in back or any part of the body, lavender essential oil still holds a strong position at the top of the list. The anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation in both the muscles as well as the connective tissues. The analgesic properties reduce pain signals, making it one of the most popular essential oils used for pain in general. The calming effects also make lavender essential oil a key ingredient in pain management. It is no surprise, then, that it is among the best essential oils for sciatica pain and nerve pain in the back.

Back Pain Relief Essential Oil Recipe:



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