During my time in the military, I’d frequently hear other soldiers (usually middle-aged or older) complaining about their “trick knee.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that knee pain is a frequent issue for adults, especially as we all age.
While knee pain is commonly caused by daily wear and tear from activities such as walking or running, standing for extended periods of time, bending, and lifting, it can also be the result of certain sports such as basketball or soccer. These types of sports entail lots of sudden stopping and starting, as well as pivoting in place, which can put tremendous pressure on people’s knees.
Eventually, age catches up with us all, and knee problems can sometimes be part of the aging process. These typically show up in the form of overstressed ligaments, arthritis, and tendonitis.
Essential oils have been used for many years for pain relief and to treat inflammation. Many of these oils can gradually numb knee pain. Since essential oils are an all-natural remedy instead of a synthetic one, they usually have fewer side effects. Therefore, they can be ideal in treating knee pain and inflammation.
Here are some essential oils that can be effective tools in your pain management toolbox.
One of the most common essential oils that people use for knee pain relief is lavender. For centuries, it has been used for not only joint pain but also headaches and migraines. Lavender oil is brimming with agents that are mildly sedative and can also reduce both anxiety and stress levels when inhaled. A 2018 randomized, single-blinded clinical trial studied the effects of massaging patients’ knees with a 3 percent dilution of lavender oil and followed up by monitoring their ability to perform their normal daily activities. The group that self-applied lavender to their knees experienced faster relief than the one that hadn’t.
Eucalyptus essential oil contains potent agents that act as highly effective nerve-related pain relievers, promote better blood circulation, and can help to unblock clogged sinuses. Just a small amount of eucalyptus oil can not only help with your knee pain but can also soothe headaches and migraines, as well as arthritis.
A randomized clinical trial published in 2013 found “inhalation of eucalyptus oil was effective in decreasing patient’s pain and blood pressure following total knee replacement.”
In addition, eucalyptus oil contains powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can boost overall health.
Rosemary essential oil has been known to help with recurring joint stiffness, swelling, and pain, such as chronic knee pains that keep coming back. Since inflamed knee muscles frequently spasm and in turn, cause pain, applying this kind of oil can help to relieve those spasms.
Studies also suggest that rosemary essential oil can help to improve blood circulation around knee joints. This oil contains both anti-inflammatory and painkilling compounds that can also boost the potency of popular pain relief pharmaceuticals.
Additionally, a study that was published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology showed that smelling rosemary essential oil can boost a person’s physical and mental abilities, such as concentration, speed, accuracy, and overall performance levels. In many countries, rosemary oil is considered a cognitive stimulant, causing people who regularly ingest it to improve their focus. A study on mice in 2017 also found inhaling rosemary oil increased brain dopamine levels and may have “therapeutic potential against stress-related psychiatric disorders.”