Essential oils for knee pain relief

essential oils for knee painKnee pain is a common condition that can affect people of any age. There are a variety of reasons why it can occur. Knee pain can be caused by an acute injury suffered during a freak accident or a sporting injury, or it can be more chronic in nature, resulting from conditions such as arthritis, gout, or an infection. Simply overusing the knee can cause knee pain over time, putting older adults at most risk.

Having healthy knees allows us to move around and explore the world. The knees are extremely flexible and can support nearly two to three times our own body weight. We often take our knees’ strength for granted, unknowingly causing injury to them. As time passes, our knees may become weaker and experience dull pain.


Not having the aid of this flexible joint, our movements become inhibited. We can’t walk or travel long distances, and we often resort to prescription-grade pain-relieving medication that generally comes with a host of unwanted side effects. Luckily, the use of essential oils for knee pain can offer sustainable relief.

Essential oils benefits for knee pain

Most of the time, knee pain is the result of inflammation or direct injury to the knee joint. Essential oils contain properties that can help alleviate knee pain when used on the skin. Many essential oils contain analgesic (pain-reducing) and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide healing and relief.

Certain essential oils are great for pain reduction because they have a numbing effect. There are generally two kinds of analgesic essential oils: ones that have a cooling effect and ones that have a warming effect. The latter comes with the added bonus of promoting blood circulation.

Pain that arises from swollen knees is likely to be the result of inflammation. Essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce this swelling and subsequently help relieve pain. These types of essential oils also tend to be warming in nature, making them great for knee pain due to cold weather as well.

Essential oils for knee pain

The following are the best essential oils for knee pain that help reduce discomfort and swelling.


Basil oil is an antispasmodic, helping to ease muscle tension. It also works as a decongestant, antiseptic, and muscle relaxant, and it has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for reducing pain caused by inflammation.


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


This root spice has been long known for offering many beneficial health effects when consumed, but its oil can also be used externally on your skin. Thanks to ginger’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for aching joints and easing muscle spasms. Those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis will benefit from ginger oil as it can soothe symptoms.


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


This oil’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can be used to relieve aching muscles and joints. It can also help calm and soothe the mind and body. This can help dilate blood vessels by eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and tension, all of which may contribute to muscle tension.


This oil is beneficial for knee aches and pains, but it is also known for helping to alleviate certain kidney problems, nerve pain, 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 pain. While it does not have many side effects like other types of essential oils, it is known for causing a higher vulnerability to contact sensitization.


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


This plant is well-known for helping us relax to get much-needed sleep, but it can also be used to relieve pain thanks to its sedative properties. Chamomile oil works by reducing inflammation. Simply massage your chamomile oil solution onto the affected area to get relief.


This essential oil is great at reducing swelling thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use essential oils for knee pain relief

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

Instead, dilute your essential oils before using by mixing them into a carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable oils full of fatty acids and they help disperse the tiny molecules of essential oils.
Carrier oils include argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia, plus many more.

Massage is the best way to apply essential oil to help relieve pain symptoms.

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.

Other methods for using essential oils include aromatherapy, during a bath, or on a warm or cold compress.

The following are some essential oil recipes to help you relieve your knee pain.

Soaking bath for your knee

You will need:

  • Bath salts – 1 to 2 cups
  • Lavender oil – 3 drops
  • Rosemary oil – 4 drops
  • Cypress oil – 5 drops
  • Peppermint oil – 6 drops

Begin by preparing your bath water and adding your Epsom salts. Once fully dissolved, add the essential oils. Completely immerse your knee in the water.

Warming massage blend

You will need:

  • Eucalyptus oil – 5 drops
  • Sage oil – 4 drops
  • Rosemary oil – 6 drops
  • Coriander oil – 3 drops
  • Marjoram oil – 4 drops
  • Roman chamomile oil – 5 drops
  • Carrier oil of your choice – 2 ounces or 60 ml

Blend your ingredients together in a glass bottle and then massage onto the knee.

Wintergreen and peppermint blend


You will need

  • Wintergreen oil – 8 drops
  • Peppermint oil – 12 drops
  • Carrier oil – 30 ml

Using both of these oils can provide anti-inflammatory and pain relief. Store your oil blend in a glass bottle and apply up to three times a day.

Related: Osteoarthritis knee pain relief at home: Easy tips and natural remedies

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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