OilsThey are essentially chemicals extracted from various plants. They are aromatic, and as far as chemical compounds go they can easily enter the air allowing for inhalation. Doctors have been asked for their opinions on essential oils. And they agree that they can be effective. However, it is something that is difficult to prove scientifically. Currently, there is not a great deal of research to turn to prove that they work. One reason is that it’s difficult to do this type of study. But there are some reliable studies. An example is a study found that using essential oils as aromatherapy can significantly reduce pain. Another study found orange oil specifically to relieve pain. There is more developing research that suggests certain oils applied as a topical agent to the low back, like wintergreen or peppermint, they act as an alternative pain reducer to traditional meds that cause side effects. Definitely more research needs to be done to become a standard form of care. And they can be it just depends on what it’s for. For example, can they cure cancer? No. Can they help with the symptoms? Yes. Certain oils have anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing properties. Patients have reported aromatherapy and oils applied topically has helped them with their pain. But, just like anything, it is different for everybody.
When to useBack pain/conditions that are appropriate for essential oils would be chronic, low-level pain. With any type of numbness, weakness, bowel/bladder dysfunction, or severe, incapacitating pain, go to the hospital, emergency clinic, etc. If pain symptoms do not improve within three to five days, make an appointment with a doctor, chiropractor, or spine specialist. Always check with a healthcare physician before starting an essential oil regimen. This is to make sure there are no adverse effects or complications. It is essential to see a doctor or spine specialist making sure a serious condition is not the cause of the back pain. Severe conditions should not be treated with only essential oils. Oils are considered to be a small part of a larger integrative treatment plan. This includes:
- Allopathic therapies
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory diet
Use for back painOnce a doctor clears an individual to use essential oils, adding them to a back-care treatment plan can be done in two ways.
- Aromatherapy, with the use of a diffuser to release into the air, allowing for inhalation.
- Topical agent in the form of a salve, lotion, or cream, and massaged into the pain area
- Lavender is an excellent choice as an aromatherapy