Essential Oils For Muscle Pain, Cramps, And Spasms

Muscle aches and soreness happen to most of us at some point. If you participate in sports or heavy workouts, you may frequently experience muscle spasms and cramps.

It is a very painful experience that makes us scream with muscle aches and stiffness. Muscle cramps and bad soreness can cause pain and swelling that last for hours or even days.

Taking preventive steps and using natural remedies can eliminate cramps, sores, and spasms in several effective ways.

When it comes to natural remedies, essential oils are highly for pain and cramps and work well to reduce inflammation.

Types of Muscle Traumas

Muscle aches can happen for reasons other than muscle tension, stress, and physical activity. Other causes for myalgia are:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • autoimmune disorders such as dermatomyositis, lupus, and polymyositis,
  • infections, such as polio, flu, or bacterial infections,
  • use of certain medications or drugs, such as statins, cocaine, or ACE inhibitors,
  • hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism,
  • hypokalemia (low potassium)

The main types of muscle traumas include:

Muscle Pain

Muscle aches can affect the muscles in any body part. Several reasons can cause muscle soreness.

When you have a strained neck, shoulders, or back, they often cause prolonged muscle aches in the back and neck. This usually happens because of bad posture, strenuous exercises, work, injury, tension, or stress.

Some people get muscle aches because of health issues like arthritis, rheumatism, slipped discs, or strained veins and nerves. A heavy bout of flu and microbial infections can also become reasons for aching muscles.

The most commonly occurring hurt muscles are the following:

Muscles Spasm

Muscle spasms occur when skeletal muscle contracts and does not relax. It is a painful, involuntary, and forceful muscle contraction that lasts a little while before relaxing. It can occur in any body part, including the abdomen, chest, and chin.

Muscle spasms happen for reasons such as poor blood circulation to the muscles, muscle fatigue, dehydration, alcohol, mineral deficiency, pinched nerves, pregnancy, or overexertion of muscles.

Muscle Cramps

A sustained muscle spasm is called a muscle cramp or “charley horse.” It is a painful, involuntary contraction of one or more muscles and lasts a little longer before relaxing. It often occurs in the legs. Nighttime leg cramps are usually sudden tightenings or spasms of muscles in the calf.

Some of the reasons for cramps are dehydration, over-exercising, and depleted potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels.

Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness results from too much muscle stress, tension, or exertion. It happens because of muscle tension in one or more areas of the body, excess use of muscles during physical activity, or injuries inflicted on muscles while engaging in strenuous work or exercise.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

The DOMS, also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in the muscles several hours or days after performing strenuous exercises or unaccustomed manual labor. Most of the time, the DOMS is strongly affected one or two days after the physical exercise.

If you have myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a disease that comes from being tired and not having a strong immune system, your joints and muscles could hurt anywhere in your body.

Let us now discuss natural remedies for muscle tension using effective essential oils and oil blends.

7 Best Essential Oils For Sore Muscles

Essential oils have excellent therapeutic powers to heal health issues like hurt muscles, back pain, inflammation, and infections. They are great for relaxing muscles and relieving muscle pain because they have anesthetic, antiseptic, and inflammatory properties.

Let us first see some of the good EOs for pain individually, and then we can discuss various oil-blend treatments for muscle aches.

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is a powerful natural remedy for several diseases and other health issues. Its health benefits include relieving pain, tension, and stress, fighting infections on the skin and scalp, improving blood circulation, and solving common respiratory issues.

This oil is traditionally used to treat muscular pains, headaches, and stomach aches. It works very well for cramps, spasms, sore muscles, sprains, and rheumatism that cause pain.

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of lavender oil are effective for treating pains arising from muscle stress and tension. Lavender oil will also ease swelling and improve blood circulation. It is excellent for relieving muscle spasms caused by mental stress and anxiety.

2. Ginger Oil

Ginger essential oil boasts powerful antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for taking care of muscle cramps and spasms.

One study on ginger oil found that massaging this oil into painful areas is a great way to treat rheumatism-related inflammation and joint pain.

The warming effect of ginger oil, together with its analgesic properties, helps to relieve muscle soreness.

3. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil has been used for a long time to treat muscle pain, stiff joints, and rheumatism.

This oil contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic elements that are ideal for treating muscular spasms, cramps, and pain. The analgesic qualities of this oil can calm stress and tension in muscles and nerves.

According to a study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicines, eucalyptus oil inhalation reduces pain and suppresses edema and inflammation in animal models.

The best quality eucalyptus essential oil is obtained from Australian eucalyptus trees; it is better to use the one sourced from Australia for the best pain relief results.

4. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a significant effect on relieving muscle pain because of the potential anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic elements contained in it. Massaging the oil on affected muscle blocks can relax the muscles and relieve pain. It is also a natural remedy for joint pains and headaches.

According to an article published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, peppermint oil is “used as a folk or traditional remedy for nausea, indigestion, cold symptoms, headaches, muscle and nerve pain, stomach problems, and bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.”

5. Wintergreen Oil

Native Americans have traditionally used Wintergreen essential oil to relieve joint and muscle pain. This contains methyl salicylate, one of the prominent ingredients in aspirin.

Some studies have found that Wintergreen essential oil has the same pain-relieving properties as cortisone. This oil also contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic elements that are useful for treating muscle aches, cramps, spasms, and soreness.

Because of the potent ingredients in wintergreen oil, it must be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin

6. Clary Sage Oil

Another good essential oil for pain is Clary sage oil. It is good for relaxing the muscles, especially during muscle spasms, cramps, and respiratory congestion. You can also avoid muscle cramps during exercise by massaging oil into your calves and thighs before beginning your workout.

Clary sage oil aromatherapy has proven effects on pain management and relieving congestion; used along with other essential oils like lavender and Roman chamomile.

7. Roman Chamomile Oil

According to one of the research articles published by the Molecular Medicine Reports, ‘Chamomile preparations are commonly used for many human ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids.’

Roman chamomile oil has antispasmodic properties that are beneficial for treating muscle spasms and cramps. It is often added to blends of essential oils that relieve muscle and joint pain.

Essential Oils for Making a Pain Relief Oil Blend

Besides the top 7 essential oils for sore muscles we have already discussed, a few other essential oils are beneficial for pain relief and fighting inflammation. They are most effective when used as ingredients in oil blends for calming pain. Here are 5 other essential oils you can use in oil blends to relieve and relax muscle aches and pain.

Marjoram Oil

Marjoram essential oil contains potential antispasmodic substances that can produce soothing and warming effects on aching muscles. It is also widely used for treating arthritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure, and indigestion. It can help improve blood circulation, which is necessary for faster recovery from muscle tension or fever.

Black pepper oil

Some of the traditional eastern medicines used black pepper oil to treat muscle spasms and sprains. It produces a heating effect on muscle soreness and improves blood circulation in that area. This oil also has antispasmodic properties that help relax the muscles. Some of the popular painkiller sprays used by athletes contain black pepper extract as a prominent ingredient.

Thyme oil

Thyme essential oil has antispasmodic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, and bactericidal properties. This oil treats several common health issues, like digestive and respiratory disorders. Massaging thyme oil on the body helps to relieve muscle spasms, cramps, pains, rheumatism, and gout.

The heating effect produced by this oil on the body is beneficial for relieving joint pain and muscle aches. The strong chemicals in this oil can irritate the skin, so it should only be used after mixing it with other oils.

Juniper Berry Oil

Juniper berry essential oil is popularly used in anti-rheumatic and antispasmodic treatments for relieving pain and stiffness. Applying Juniper essential oil helps reduce muscle spasms, cramps, and soreness. It is also excellent for relieving pains associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other similar ailments.

Fennel oil

Fennel oil is a popular natural remedy for muscle aches. The antispasmodic properties in this oil relax muscles, nerves, and respiratory spasms.

This oil is very effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism. Fennel oil works well for reducing migraine pain and other headaches.

Oil Blends for Muscle Pain and Cramp

Here are a few oil blends that you can make to cure muscle torture, cramps, spasms, or soreness. The same oil blends can be used for massage, baths, or compresses.

Pain Relief Massage

You can prepare a pain relief massage oil blend by using the following ingredients:

  • Roman Chamomile (4 drops)
  • Lavender (4 drops)
  • Marjoram (5 drops)
  • Black pepper (4 drops)
  • Carrier Oil (4 teaspoons; use any carrier oil of your choice)

Muscle spasm or cramping massage

Use the following essential oil blend for massaging the muscle spasm-affected area:

  • Ginger (4 drops)
  • Eucalyptus (5 drops)
  • Marjoram (4 drops)
  • Tea tree oil (3 drops)
  • Carrier Oil (4 teaspoons, use any carrier oil of your choice)

Massage for Soothing Sore Muscle

Use the following essential oil blend for massaging aching muscles:

  • Ginger (4 drops)
  • Lavender (5 drops)
  • Marjoram (4 drops)
  • Carrier Oil (4 teaspoons)

Muscle-Relaxing Massage

Use the following essential oil blend for a massage to comfort muscles:

  • Lavender (5 drops)
  • Juniper (4 drops)
  • Ginger Oil (4 drops)
  • Carrier Oil (4 teaspoons)

Rheumatic Pain Relief Massage

Use the following essential oil blend to massage the inflamed joints.

  • Lavender (4 drops)
  • Ginger (5 drops)
  • Clary Sage (4 drops)
  • Carrier Oil (4 teaspoons)

How To Use Essential Oils

There are a couple of effective ways in which you can make use of essential oils for muscle.

Essential oils are powerful oil concentrates with strong natural chemical or therapeutic ingredients, so they must be used cautiously. Most of these oils must be blended with other carrier oils like coconutolive, or almond.

Some of the EOs we’ve discussed above work best to treat sore muscles when mixed with two or more other EOs.

Avoid using undiluted essential oils. Always dilute EOs in carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oil.

Let us now look at how to use essential oils for aching muscles:


The easiest and most effective way to eliminate muscle tension and aches are by gently massaging with the right essential oil blends. The oil massage is also beneficial for relaxing muscles to ease spasms or cramps. Massage therapy increases blood circulation and soothes the muscles.

Oil Bath

Fill your bathtub with warm water and add 10–15 drops of essential oils. Then soak yourself in the warm water for 20 minutes. You should pay special attention to the body parts where the muscle ache occurs. Oil bath therapy helps calm muscles and eliminate pain.


An age-old folklore treatment is a hot or cold compress to relax muscles and relieve pain. It is effective for soothing tense muscles and easing pain.

Take a jar of warm water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the water. Then, soak a clean cotton towel in warm oil-treated water and use it to compress the tensed muscles.

For a cold compress, soak the towel in essential oil-treated cold water, wring it out, and wrap it around an ice pack. Do a cold compress with it over the distressed muscles.


Essential oil aromatherapy helps relax the body and mind, and this also gives some relief from muscle soreness. Aromatherapy using lavender, eucalyptus, or rosemary oils effectively reduces mental and physical stress.

DOs And DON’Ts

Here are a few tips that you must observe to get the best results in getting rid of muscle pain:

  • Repeat the essential oil therapy several times to get the best results; massaging the oil once is not enough. The same is true for compresses and oil baths.
  • Do the massage and compress treatments with essential oils alternately a couple of times.
  • Wash off the oils from the skin only after 30 minutes of the oil massage.
  • EOs can be harsh on the skin, so you should always mix them with a carrier oil first.
  • If the muscle aches or soreness continue relentlessly, you must seek medical treatment from a professional physician.
  • Do not exercise or engage in strenuous physical activities until the muscle soreness is gone.

More Ways to Avoid Muscle Soreness

If you are suffering from recurring muscle cramps or spasms, you must adopt preventive measures to arrest their regular recurrences. Here are a few suggestions for preventing muscle soreness:

  • Before you do hard work or workouts, you should always do a light warm-up like jogging and stretching.
  • Treat your bath water with Epsom salt or essential oil blends.
  • Always keep your body well hydrated; drinking a minimum of 8 glasses or cups of water is highly recommended daily.
  • If you are new to using essential oils as remedies, try out different oils to find out which works best for you.
  • A cold or hot compress treatment can effectively relieve muscle pain.
  • Make sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet to prevent muscle spasms and cramps due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals.

The Final Thought 

Muscle pains arising from cramps, spasms, and soreness are common problems for most persons engaged in strenuous physical activities. Muscle soreness is caused by tiny muscle tears that occur because of overexertion. Aging factors, arthritis, poor postures, and continuous manual work can cause muscle pain and soreness.

Essential oils can help to ease muscle pain and soreness. This article’s list of essential oils has therapeutic elements such as antispasmodic, antiseptic, analgesic, stimulant, and anti-inflammatory properties that can relax muscles and help relieve muscle aches and soreness, as well as cramps and spasms.

However, you should take regular medication under a physician’s guidance if your muscle ache is intense and lasts for more than 48 hours.