20 essential oils for muscle pain and how to use them

essential oils for muscle painGetting muscle aches and pains is a fact of life. The more we use our muscles, the more tired and fatigued they get, and unfortunately as we age this occurs more frequently and recovery takes longer. Aging also poses other problems for movement, as arthritis symptoms are more likely to develop. These may include swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Living with these symptoms may prevent you from doing the things you enjoy like exercising or simply working in your garden.

Muscle pain is not exclusive to older people, however, as young and healthy individuals can also strain their muscles and joints.


There is a bevy of over-the-counter pharmaceutical medications to help deal with such pain and discomfort, but they also have a host of side effects that could lead to all-new problems down the road.

Essential oils for muscle aches and pains can be used instead. These are liquids derived from plants or other natural sources. They are known for exhibiting a host of beneficial properties, of which reducing pain symptoms is one of them.

You’re probably wondering what essential oil is good for muscle pain. Here you will find a list of some of the best essential oils used to help treat muscle pain.

Essential oils for muscle pain


A popular essential oil for its relaxing and sedative properties, as well as its distinct sweet floral scent. It is known for having many therapeutic properties; its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions can be used to relieve aching muscles. Lavender oil can help calm and soothe the mind and body. It helps dilate blood vessels by eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and tension, all of which may contribute to muscle tension.


Derived from the widely used herb, this essential oil contains strong analgesic properties and helps relieve aches, pains, and arthritis. It can even be used to reduce the signs of cellulitis (a serious bacterial skin infection), improve hair growth, and promote wound healing.

Black pepper

Derived from the well-known spice on the dinner table, black pepper essential oil is great for aches and pains. It has a warming effect when used on the skin, making it ideal for promoting blood circulation. It also contains analgesic properties to help with arthritis pain and sore muscles. Black pepper essential oil can also be applied before exercise to help prevent pain in the first place.


A popular herb added to many meals, thyme essential oil has the ability to treat joint and muscle pain with its warming action. Sufferers of chronic joint conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism will find this particular oil useful for helping to reduce their discomfort. Thyme can also benefit healthy individuals as it is great for aches and pain caused by over-exercising or sports injuries.


This root spice has been long known for its many beneficial health effects, and its oil can be used externally on your skin. Thanks to ginger’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for treating aching muscles, muscle spasms, and arthritis symptoms.


Because this oil is absorbed by the body, the powerful compound eucalyptol works as a potent vasodilator, increasing the size of blood vessels. This allows more blood to circulate around the body, which helps to relieve aches and pains in combination with eucalyptus’s strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.


This essential oil has excellent warming and soothing properties to help ease joint pain and muscle spasms. It is known for having other beneficial qualities as well, such as helping with high blood pressure, arthritis pain, and indigestion.


This pleasantly scented oil can help with most forms of pain, including aching joints and muscular pain. Peppermint essential oil for muscle pain is refreshing and uplifting. Add it to your bath or simply massage it on the skin to reap its benefits.


Boasting strong antioxidant compounds, this essential oil may help get rid of toxins in the body, acting much in the same way as omega-3 oils. It is able to stimulate blood circulation and calm the nervous system, helping to relieve cramps, stress, and muscle tension.

Aloe Vera

This tropical plant is known for having a gel-like substance within it that is great for treating sunburns. But aloe vera essential oil can also be used to help soothe aching joints due to its concentrated nature.


A great healing essential oil, frankincense helps promote pain relief throughout the body. It is thought to work by blocking leukotrienes, substances that initiate inflammatory responses in the body. This essential oil can also act as a mild sedative, making it great for stress relief.


A popular treatment in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest-known forms of holistic healing, this essential oil is great for aches and pains. It works especially well for arthritis and muscular pain.


This oil is beneficial for muscle aches and pains, but it is also known for helping to alleviate certain kidney problems, nerve pain, throbbing joints, and menstrual pain. However, wintergreen is known for inducing several side effects if ingested, such as ringing in the ears, belly pain, and vomiting.

Tea Tree

This essential oil can be a great solution for relieving muscle pain. While it does not have many side effects like other types of essential oils, it is known for causing vulnerability to an allergic reaction called contact sensitization.


An often underappreciated essential oil, basil is an antispasmodic, helping to ease muscle tension. It also works as a decongestant, antiseptic, and muscle relaxant, and it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain.


A popular scent and flavor, spearmint also makes for a beneficial essential oil. It works wonders for those suffering from muscle pain and inflammation, but it may cause skin irritation if used incorrectly.

Clary sage

Having a floral aroma, this essential oil is great for treating the symptoms of PMS and menopause. It is also great at reducing swelling thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.


When seeking the best essential oil for muscle pain, consider Helichrysum. It can help skin heal faster, repair blood vessels and nerves, and even reduce inflammation, all of which may contribute to decreased pain. It can also help heal emotional and physical scars, as it is known to be a powerful facilitator of the body-and-spirit connection.


This plant is well-known for helping us relax so we can get some much-needed sleep, but it can also be used to help relieve pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Simply massage the chamomile oil onto the affected area to get relief.


Used to reduce inflammation, fight infections, and stabilize blood sugar, this spice makes for a great essential oil. While it may not have many side effects, cinnamon essential oil can be a skin irritant to some.

Ways to use essential oils for muscle pain

You should never put pure essential oils for muscle pain directly onto your skin! The reason for this is that these oils are extremely concentrated and potent, and if used undiluted, they can potentially cause irritation or skin damage.

Instead, you can dilute your essential oils for muscle pain relief first by mixing them into a carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable oils full of fatty acids and they help disperse the tiny molecules of aromatic oils.

Carrier oils include argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, and macadamia.

Using essential oils two or three times a day is ideal for treating pain symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that results will vary depending on the cause of your pain and other factors.

Massage is the best way to apply essential oil to help relieve pain symptoms. You can also deploy essential oils during aromatherapy, while bathing, or when using a warm or cold compress.

Recipes for essential oils for muscle pain

The following are some of the best essential oil recipes for muscle pain:

Muscle fatigue massage formula


  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 10 drops eucalyptus
  • 5 drops cypress
  • 5 drops thyme
  • 2 Tbsp carrier oil

Muscle relief massage oil



  • 15 drops juniper
  • 15 drops marjoram
  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops black pepper

Overexerted muscles massage formula


  • 5 drops eucalyptus
  • 5 drops ginger
  • 5 drops peppermint
  • 1 Tbsp carrier oil

Muscle cramp massage oil


  • 15 drops geranium or lavender
  • 15 drops rosemary
  • 10 drops marjoram
  • 5 drops black pepper or bay laurel

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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