It’s time to put down the Tylenol and Advil. We’ve looked far and wide to find the best essential oils for muscle spasms and pains. We are ready to share the very best natural remedies for chronic muscle spasms.
If you suffer from muscle spasms, strains, and pains, you’re not alone. It’s estimated 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. The majority use either prescribed or over-the-counter drugs to cope with the pain.
But pain medications can be hard on the body. They also have unwanted side effects. Don’t worry though - drugs aren’t the only option for muscle pain management. In fact, here are 14 essential oils for muscle spasms.
It’s hard to prevent something when you don’t know what is causing it. Before we tell you how to help ease the pain, it’s important to understand what’s happening to your body.
Muscle spasms are sudden, short-lived bursts of pain that can affect any muscle in the human body. It is an involuntary contraction that typically resolves quickly, however, it is still painful.
Muscle spasms can occur for the following reasons:
If you have been exercising or working in the heat lately without adding more water to your diet, you could very well be dehydrated. Alcohol is another factor that can cause dehydration.
This is a fairly easy problem to solve. Try bringing a water bottle with you to work, the gym, and anywhere else you might go. Make a goal for yourself to fill it up several times a day.
You can also use a goal-tracker app to record how much water you drink a day. As for alcohol consumption, try to reduce your intake and drink more water for a few weeks to see if it helps stop muscle spasms and pain.
If you’ve been exercising a lot lately and concentrating on one specific muscle group, your spasms might just be from that.
It’s incredibly important to warm up before and after any sort of workout – muscles need to stretch out before and after intense practice.
Do you have cold hands and feet? Maybe you’ve noticed a slightly blue tinge to your fingers and toes? Your spasms might be due to poor blood circulation.
This can happen quite easily if you have a poor diet that is sodium-heavy. A diet full of sodium (aka salt) can create an electrolyte imbalance, which is a deficiency of key electrolytes like magnesium and potassium.
If you think this might be the cause of your spasms, incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet. You can also start taking supplements along with your meals.
(via Herbs Village)
Lavender essential oil is arguably one of the most popular oils. It has a wide range of therapeutic functions, from relaxation, to pain relief, to antimicrobial cleansing properties. Fun fact: Lavender gets its name from the Latin word “Lavare,” which means to wash.
Lavender oil is excellent for eliminating nervous tension, easing pain, and improving the circulatory system – all things that can help prevent and ease muscle spasms.
Lavender has a calming scent that helps with nerves, anxiety and stress. Massaging lavender oil on the body can help with sore muscles, rheumatism, sprains, lumbago, and even joint pain.
It also helps with blood circulation: it lowers blood pressure and has benefits on coronary circulation, as it helps to increase oxygenation in organs, and promote muscle strength and health.
Best for: Spasms caused by poor blood circulation or muscle fatigue.
With antispasmodic (anti-spasm) and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities, Eucalyptus essential oil is an obvious choice to help with muscle spasms. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which further help to reduce swelling and pain in the muscles.
Australian aborigines originally used Eucalyptus leaves to treat wounds and prevent infection, since it’s an antiseptic. This essential oil is a great choice for promoting fast healing.
Best for: Muscle spasms due to overexertion, overuse, or an injury.
(via JuJu Aroma)
This natural painkiller and muscle relaxant has proven very effective through scientific studies. Studies have never indicated that this natural remedy can help with Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
Peppermint essential oil provides great pain relief when applied topically.
Additional benefits of this essential oil include promoting skin health through a cooling sensation that helps to reduce inflammation.
It also acts as a natural energizer, and as a natural anti-itch cure.
Best for: General muscle spasms and body pain.
(via Earth Angel Oils)
Wintergreen has been used as a pain reliever by Native North Americans for a long, long time. Wintergreen essential oil is one of the ideal essential oils for muscle spasms and for treating skeletal pains, and specifically neuralgia (intermittent pain along the course of a nerve).
This potent plant should always be used with caution, and only applied topically when there is a carrier oil mixed with it (more about carrier oils later).
Best for: Muscle pain from injury or fatigue.
Clove essential oil is stocked full of anti-oxidants – so much that it has 30x more anti-oxidants than blueberries per gram!
This oil is great for general health as well as muscle health. It improves blood circulation, boosts energy, and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. It is also a pain reliever as well as an anesthetic when applied topically.
Best for: Muscle spasms due to deficiencies, dehydration or poor blood circulation.
Camphor is a stimulant and diaphoretic that boots activity in the circulatory system. It is also an effective anesthetic and nervous pacifier: it numbs the sensory nerves at the area it is topically applied.
Like many other essential oils in this list, is has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antiseptic properties. What makes this oil unique from all the others on this list is the narcotic effect it can have.
It can temporarily desensitize the nerves and relax the brain to the point where an individual may lose control over their limbs (if taken in excess).
Best for: Severe muscle spasms and pain.
Arnica is a strong essential oil and should never be applied to the skin unless its diluted into the form of a gel, cream, or oil.
It has amazing properties, including the capacity to reduce pain and disease-causing inflammation. It’s used to heal bruises and discoloration, improve carpal tunnel syndrome, and alleviate pain caused by sprains, muscle spasms and injuries.
Arnica oil is a proven anticoagulant that reduces clot formation and stimulates the flow of white blood cells.
Best for: Spasms brought on by poor circulation or muscle injury.
This is one of the essential oils for muscle spasms that is specifically known to prevent and calm muscle spasms. Research has demonstrated that extract of Calendula relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions.
If this isn’t enough, it has antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps increase blood flow and oxygen to wounds and problem areas, which helps the body grow new tissue quicker and heal sooner.
It also helps boost the appearance of skin by improving firmness and hydration.
Best for: Muscle pain and spasms caused by dehydration, muscle fatigue and overexertion, and poor blood circulation.
Comfrey essential oil is well-known in folk and herbal medicine, but new to the Western world of alternative medicine.
It is astringent, anti-inflammatory, and helps heal wounds, bone, cartilage and torn ligaments that can’t be set in a cast. It’s also said to be a cell proliferator, which gives the immune system a boost.
Based on the long history and clear documentation of the results that Comfrey oil produces, it is safe to say this is an effective treatment for muscle pain (as well as ligament and bone pain).
However, it should never be used on broken skin (it can trap dirt and puss in the wound) or taken by the mouth. This oil is not recommended for children.
Best for: Muscle injuries or extreme fatigue.
Chamomile (also spelled camomile) is best known as a common flower. As an essential oil, it offers lots of benefits for adults and children. This essential oil is mild enough to be used on infants.
Chamomile essential oil is a popular remedy for those suffering from restless leg syndrome, sciatic pain, and uncomfortable sensations of prickling, tingling, or burning in the muscles. It’s also thought to detoxify the body, assist in healing minor wounds and cuts, and improve digestion.
This is a great oil to keep on hand since it can assist with muscle pain and double as a child-friendly home remedy. It’s safe to use for upset stomachs, ear aches, fevers, and panic attacks or temper tantrums on children.
Best for: General muscle pain.
You might know Juniper for its sweet and refreshing smell, but it has a lot more to offer in essential oil form.
Juniper has astringent, depurative, antiseptic, and vulnerary properties, making it a power potion to help with all sorts of body and muscle ailments.
It helps improve circulation, remove unwanted toxins from the body, and help with fluid retention. It may also help control ailments that are related to poor circulation and toxin accumulation (which can ultimately cause muscle spasms and pain).
Best for: Spasms caused by dehydration and poor circulation.
Cayenne essential oil is made by passing steam through capsaicin seeds and is highly concentrated. This essential oil should not be used on children, and adults should always exercise caution with this powerful remedy.
Cayenne has pain relieving properties and acts as a great topical remedy, as it goes deep into the skin and numbs pain while enhancing circulation. This is an important essential oil for individuals with arthritis, shingles, neuralgia, psoriasis, and of course, those suffering from muscle spasms.
Cayenne is high in vitamins, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese, making it an excellent anti-oxidant. It helps to boost the overall immune system.
Best for: Muscle pain and spasms caused by poor blood circulation, muscle fatigue, or an electrolyte imbalance.
Ginger is known for treating upset stomachs and digestion issues. As an essential oil, it offers so much more.
Research has shown both anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties in Ginger essential oil. Zingibain, a component of Ginger essential oil, helps reduce inflammation and alleviate muscle pain.
Some doctors believe taking a drop or two of Ginger essential oil daily is more effective and helpful than taking painkillers, considering the anti-inflammatory properties and ability to increase circulation.
Ginger essential oil is thought to reduce the number of prostaglandins in the body, which are compounds often associated with pain.
Best for: Spasms due to poor blood circulation or muscle fatigue.
This essential oil comes from the Mediterranean region. It is extracted from the “Knotted Marjoram” plant. It has been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes over the years. Like many of the other essential oils for muscle spasms, this one is also an analgesic, antispasmodic, and an antiseptic.
On top of that, Marjoram essential oil has general warming properties that can improve circulation and increase blood flow. It is also a diaphoretic, promoting perspiration and the removal of toxins, sodium, and excess water from the body.
It’s said to help strengthen the nervous system, widen and relax the blood vessels, ease the flow of blood, and reduce blood pressure, contributing to all-round better health.
Best for: Muscle spasms that are likely caused by an electrolyte imbalance, poor circulation, or dehydration.
Essential oils for muscle spasms should always be diluted before being used. On their own they can be extremely potent and cause harm to the skin, resulting in severe irritation or even an allergic reaction (also called “sensitization” in the essential oil world).
For more information about essential oil dilution, check out Healing Solutions "Essential Oil Dilution Guide for Beginner's and Beyond".
Carrier oils are the simplest and easiest way to dilute essential oils. We recommend the following carrier oils:
This is a great carrier oil when crafting a blend meant for your muscles. The consistency is light, thin and perfect for using for a massage. This carrier oil is also moisturizing, but be careful – it has a relatively short shelf life.
This is a pretty common carrier oil, and it’s evident why: a luscious cream color, a nutty aroma, and a natural moisturizer to boot.
The coconut aroma smells like a tropical vacation, and you can’t find a carrier oil with a longer shelf life. It is also nice and moisturizing.
You probably already have this in your kitchen. It is slightly moisturizing and a good source of omega fatty acid. Why not use it?
There’s no better time to address muscle spasms and pain then in a nice hot bubble bath. Move over, Epsom salts, essential oils are taking over!
These fantastic bath bombs helps ease muscle tension, soothe aches and pains, and get your electrolytes back in balance.
As we mentioned above, magnesium deficiencies can cause muscle spasms and pain. The essential oils and magnesium oil in this recipe help to boost magnesium levels through the skin.
Essential oils including peppermint, ginger and eucalyptus provide you with instant relaxation, as well as preventative measures, by boosting your electrolytes and lowering your chances of muscle spasms and cramps during exercise.
These bath bombs are ideal to use after an intense workout, or any other activity that can trigger muscle spasms and pain.
Chamomile, ginger and lavender essential oil combine to make an effective, natural bubble bath remedy that promotes calmness and pain relief.
The recipe takes about twenty minutes to make and it creates four bath bombs.
If you want to stick to a simple recipe without a ton of ingredients, this DIY muscle soak is perfect for you.
All you need is Epsom salts, baking soda, Lavender essential oil, and Panaway essential oil.
If you need any extra motivation to create your own bath bombs, read the ingredients Hearty Soul found in marketplace bath bomb products. It will certainly give you a push to make your own!
This simple recipe can be created using a muffin tin and common household products. The only thing you’ll need to shop for are your desired essential oils, and Epsom or magnesium salts if you don’t already have some.
The Hearty Soul suggests lavender oil and orange oil, for relaxation and a sweet, fresh smell. We recommend including eucalyptus, calendula, juniper or ginger essential oils.
Muscle spasms unfortunately happen when we least expect it. The best thing to do is be prepared!
The following essential oil blends, lotions, rubs and salves are the best natural remedies to soothe your angry muscles.
If your muscle spasms have graduated into pulled muscles or torn ligaments, this potent oil blend is going to offer some real relief.
This recipe comes highly recommended by an individual with the painful disease of multiple sclerosis. Instead of pharmaceuticals, they now use essential oils to manage their chronic pain.
Ingredients include wintergreen oil, an age-old remedy used by the Ojibwe and Mohawk as a pain reliever for sore muscles; arnica to help with inflammation, bruises and joint pain, and calendula to decrease cramp pains by improving blood flow to the sore area.
This recipe has several not-so-common ingredients and must be stored for two weeks before use. However, it is a very effective remedy, so we suggest making time to concoct this blend in advance, and having it in your muscle spasm first aid kit when you need it the most.
If you suffer from both muscle spasms and arthritis, this cream is perfect for your needs.
This cream is antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. Basically, everything you want in a muscle spasm treatment.
This DIY muscle mender means business! It has some of our favourite effective essential oils in it: ginger, comfrey, peppermint and cayenne. This powerful salve will be your salvation!
This super easy DIY sore muscle rub works like a charm, and it’s no wonder why. It’s stacked with great essential oil ingredients including ginger and cayenne.
This essential oil infused lotion is a great remedy for leg muscle spasms and is safe to use on children struggling with growing pains. If you strive to have only kid-safe products in your household, this is a great option for you.
This remedy is a two-part process. You’ll need to create an arnica and comfrey infused oil (or buy one), and then make the actual lotion. The Nerdy Farm Wife provides DIY instructions to create the arnica and comfrey infused oil, as well as a link to purchase a pre-made oil if you prefer.
Arnica helps inflammation and join paint. Comfrey leaf is supposed to help heal sprains, strains, and other body pains. Magnesium oil acts as a pain reliever. Magnesium oil products applied to the skin help boost the body’s magnesium levels. This can help prevent a deficiency which leads to muscle spasms and aches.
Cautionary warning: magnesium oil can be a skin irritant over time. It’s important to balance any product that has magnesium oil in it with something soothing. This lotion is balanced with shea butter and aloe vera gel.