Arthritis affects 1 of every 5 adults in the U.S. Living with arthritis can be tough. Swelling, stiffness and pain are common and hard to hack. If you’re suffering from arthritis and looking for an all-natural strategy for pain management, essential oils may be the answer.
Yes, essential oils work. They are clinically proven to reduce inflammation in arthritis patients. They’re also all-natural and can be combined with other treatments for maximum pain relief.
To get pain relief from arthritis, learn how to use essential oils on a regular basis to promote the anti-inflammatory response.
All About Essential Oils
What exactly are essential oils? They’re extracts from plant parts - whether flowers, barks, stem, leaves, roots or fruit - and thus are 100% natural.
These natural extracts can be used in a variety of ways, but the most common is to reduce swelling, anxiety and fatigue. Because of their broad usage, they can be applied for conditions including depression, indigestion, headache, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments, swollen joints, etc.
For arthritis patients, essential oils are a must-have because of the anti-inflammatory properties that many of them have. Generally speaking, this means that the essential oils will reduce swelling, relieve pain and promote blood flow to the applied area.
If you’re hesitant about starting essential oils, you may find testimonials from other people useful for understanding how essential oils can help. Check out some essential oil success stories here.
Know the Side Effects
It’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of essential oils. Even though they’re all-natural, your body may not adjust to the oil at first. Whenever you start a new oil, use a smaller amount and dilute it heavily so you can see how your body reacts.
In addition, talk to your doctor before trying essential oils. He/she will confirm that the essential oils won’t interfere with your current medication. Common side effects include rashes and/or allergic reactions. In addition, essential oils can cause:
- Sun sensitivity
- Hormonal changes
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should stop using the essential oil and contact your doctor. If you’re pregnant or have serious asthma or allergies, you may need to avoid essential oils in general.
Getting Started with Essential Oils
First things first, never apply essential oils directly to the skin. You must always dilute them before applying them. In addition, you should never ingest them orally, they are only for inhaling or applying to the skin after dilution.
You should dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil prior to applying topically to skin. Carrier oils include oils like coconut, olive or almond. When in doubt, add more carrier oil so that the essential oil is well diluted. This is especially important when you first start essential oils.
Next, you can choose from several methods of using essential oils. The best part about essential oils is that you can use them at home in the following ways:
- A diffuser: You can use a diffuse to inhale essential oils. Just add the essential oil of your choice and the diffuser will release it for up to an hour. If you prefer, you can also inhale it by placing it on a tissue and breathing it in manually.
- Topically: After diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil, you can apply it to your skin. Read more about diluting essential oils, plus get printable free dilution charts. Then, add it to a warm cloth and apply it to the affected area.
- A hot bath: You can draw a hot bath and add about 3-6 drops of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil or castile soap. Read more about safe use of essential oils in the bath. A hot bath is a great way to relax while taking in the medicinal properties of the essential oil.
Essential Oils for Arthritis
Some essential oils are more effective for arthritis than others. Let’s look at the top 9 essential oils for arthritis patients.
Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which makes it great for relieving sore muscles for arthritis patients. In addition, eucalyptus can also reduce anxiety and fatigue.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, frankincense is known for reducing joint pain and muscular swelling. This is good news for arthritis patients who want to reduce swollen joints and relax surrounding muscles.
Known as a “golden” essential oil, lavender is great for reducing stress, insomnia and headaches. Best of all, lavender relieves sore muscles, so an arthritis patient can truly get pain relief. It’s also a soothing essential oil and good for before bed.
Myrrh is effective in treating inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Specifically, it suppresses inflammation and reduces tension in joints.
New studies show that orange helps fight pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of orange oil make it a top choice for arthritis patients.
Through its key ingredient of menthol, peppermint has a “cooling” effect on sore muscles and joints. It’s an especially good essential oil to use on your hands, as it can reduce muscle spasms.
Ginger is a top anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce swelling. For arthritis patients, it can relieve muscle soreness.
A great anti-inflammatory, turmeric contains crucumin, which is proven to reduce inflammation. It’s an effective choice for getting quick muscle pain relief.
Finally, basil is an anti-inflammatory that has great effect on strained muscles. It’s also a common essential oil for combining with other oils.
Contact a Chiropractor Near You
Essential oils can give you quick pain relief during the day. However, if you still struggle with pain relief, you should contact a chiropractor near you. A chiropractor can ensure that you’re on the right track for managing your arthritis pain in the long run.
Go on and try essential oils! You may find the all-natural pain relief you need.
About Author: Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He became a well-known Anchorage chiropractor and is passionate about treating his patients with care and compassion.
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