Happy familyBanner EverythingEssential Everything about Essential Oils   learn, ask, share
ATTENTION: You will see a number of changes as we make this website compliant with some regulatory requirements. Our apologies for inconvenience.
Health Issue                 return to A to Z

Back Pain

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Joint Pain or Muscle Pain

Back pain is a common term covering a wide variety of situations primarily centered around the spinal column.  The spinal column is not only a major structural member of the human anatomy but it also houses the spinal cord, a key part of the Central Nervous System and the primary conduit for exchange of information between the Peripheral Nervous System (limbs, organs, and glands) and the brain.  Injury or disease to the veSpine segmentrtebrae, discs, or the spinal cord can all be the source of back pain.  Also, since nerve signals from the Peripheral Nervous System travel through the spinal column, injury or disease of the spine can lead to improper function or “mixed signals” in these other parts of the body.  Listed below are common types of back problems and also a simplified chart showing which of the vertebrae is the critical point where nerves leave the spinal column to service various parts of the body.

Muscle Strain

With heavy or awkward lifting, repeated uncomfortable actions, over exertion, or with a fall or other type of accident the muscles in the back can be strained resulting in aching pain that can last for days.


This is the common term for the injury resulting from an abrupt jerking motion of the head resulting in an injury to the neck.  Common in our day of auto crashes.

Disk degeneration

The disks between the vertebrae provide a cushion and flexibility to the spine.  They may be damaged through accident or degenerate with age.   Typically with age the outer covering of the disc will weaken causing the disc to bulge and to flatten.  The flattening can eventually cause bone to bone contact between vertebrae and become a source of pain.  The bulging can put pressure on the adjacent nerves and be another source of pain.  If the bulging adds enough pressure the disc may rupture which is termed a herniated disc.  The pain in these cases can be dull and achy or become sharp and shooting in acute situations.

Sciatica (see also Sciatica)

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve pair that travels from the lower spine to the legs and feet.  The nerve transitions from the spine from the L4, L5, and S1 locations which are in the lower part of the back.  These are structurally susceptible to stress with all the pressure that can be applied to this part of the back.  If the nerves are pinched or damaged it will result in pain, numbness, or weakness in any area from the lower back to the feet.

Facet joints

The vertebrae are linked together with the facet joints (see diagram).  These joints can degenerate with arthritis or age.  As they degenerate they can become inflamed and painful.  Prolonged sitting or remaining in one position can exacerbate the pain and standing or flexing the back can provide some relief.  Over time this can lead to osteoarthritis.


As the facet joints deteriorate the body may try to compensate by producing a bony growth commonly called a bone spur.  This bony structure can narrow the passages that nerves go through and result in pressure on those nerves.

Failed Back Syndrome

Many journals now list this as a common back problem.  This is the result of back surgery that has left the person with no improvement or even a worsened condition.  Statistics now suggest that this happens in 15 to 40 percent of back surgeries.

Spinal stenosis

This is a narrowing of any of the channels that carry nerves thereby putting pressure on the nerves.  It is a term that applies to many of the conditions above.  It can result in pain, numbness and/or loss of strength in limbs and can affect bladder and bowel functions as well.

The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are connected to other parts of the body through the Peripheral Nervous System.  If damage is done to the spine it can have an effect on other parts of the body.  The chart below is a simplified diagram of where various nerves leave the spinal column traveling to other limbs, organs, and glands of the body.

Spine and Preipheral Nervous System


Oils, blends & products recommended:

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Oils & Blends:  Grounding BlendC, Birch, Soothing BlendC, Frankincense, HelichrysumC, White Fir, WintergreenC

Essential oils based products: Massage Blend Technique, Soothing Blend Rub

Also consider: BasilC, CypressC, EucalyptusC, LavenderC, LemonC, LimeC, MarjoramC, MyrrhC, OreganoC (use Oregano topically with a carrier oil), PeppermintC, RosemaryC, SandalwoodC, ThymeC

Suggested protocols:

Back pain many times includes the following scenario:

1) There is an injury or degeneration that leads to damage of nerve, muscle, or connecting tissue.  With the back most commonly nerve pressure or damage is involved.

2)  Pain may be accompanied by loss of feeling and/or loss of strength

3)  Inflammation compounds the pressure on the nerve

4)  As the back muscles try to compensate there are often muscle spasms or cramps in the back area that add additional pressure and intense pain.

This leads to the conclusion that the protocol should include:

1)  Oils for immediate pain relief

2)  Oils for inflammation reduction

3)  Oils to relax muscles and eliminate the spasms

4)  Oils for increased circulation to facilitate quicker healing

5)  Oils that heal and rebuild the damaged tissue


·  The single best possible step is to use the Massage Blend Technique described elsewhere on this website.  Daily if possible.  Follow with a hot compress.

·  Supplement this with the oils listed below.


Oils for immediate pain relief:

·  Soothing Blend, Birch, or Wintergreen

·  Apply 2 -3 drops topically to the area where the pain is manifested as often as required or use Soothing Blend Rub.  (For some Wintergreen may need to be applied with a carrier.)

·  To make the Massage Blend Technique or other oils and blends applied to the back more effective use a hot compress after the application to drive the oils deeper into the tissues and muscles.

Oils to reduce inflammation:

·  Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Myrrh, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, or Wintergreen

·  Apply topically to spinal area.  This is the location on the spine where the nerve is being pinched and will probably be different that where numbness or lack of strength or even muscle cramps occur.  For example, if numbness and loss of strength is in the leg then the lower back area where the sciatic nerve originates may well be where there is nerve compression.  Two or three drops topically 2 - 3  times daily.  (For some Wintergreen may need to be applied with a carrier.)

Oils to relax muscles and eliminate spasms:

·  Massage Blend, Lime, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile

·  Apply 2 - 3 drops topically to the area where the spasm is occurring.

Oils to increase circulation:

·  Invigorating Blend, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemon, or Peppermint

·  Apply 2 -3 drops topically to the spinal area 2 -3 times per day

Oils to heal and regenerate tissue:

·  Frankincense, Helichrysum, or Sandalwood

·  Apply 1 -2 drops topically to the spinal area 2 -3 times per day followed by a hot compress

Also consider:

·  Baths with oils will help relaxation

·  Diffusion of Invigorating Blend, Lavender, or other relaxing oils at bed time will help

For Bone Spurs:

see Bone Spurs

For Broken Bones:

See Broken Bones

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of the experiences of others that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Submissions directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:

      Debbie Huckstep

Debbie -
My sweet daughter  rags on me quite a bit because I"m always sharing some kind of testimony about the oils -   she loves to roll her eyes because these oils “just can’t POSSIBLY do all the things I say they are doing!”  She injured her back today and came to me quite nervous that she was really in trouble.  She actually wanted me to use the oils on her.  We only had  a quick minute so I didn’t have time to do the complete Massage Blend Technique so  I just grabbed the strongest oil I felt I had for her problem.  This was Birch.  I quickly put a few drops on her lower back where the pain was so intense.  In less than five minutes she came to me, biting her tongue I know, and told me the pain was gone!

Debbie - My brother -in -law was flat in bed for three solid weeks with a back injury. He is 52 years old.  His wife was so scared, she enrolled in nursing school worrying that he could possibly be disabled.   He called me desperate.  I sent Grounding Blend, Lemongrass, and Peppermint.  He could not afford much.  His wife was debilitated with hot flashes.  They were so bad she didn’t even want to go to church and she is president of a church organization and needs to be there!  I also sent Clary Sage for her.  They called me within one day after having received and used the oils.  They were all but in tears.  My brother -in -law was out of bed, working and lifting.  Her hot flashes were completely gone after one day's use. 


Submissions directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:


Rosy -
I have suffered with HORRIBLE Upper Back pain for 7 years now... I had basically given up on life. In my head I was only going to older and the pain would only worsen. It was a HORRBLE BURNING sensation, stiffness; I have to sleep on the rock hard tile floor for 4 years otherwise it was a nightmare every morning. I swear to you all I have been taking a combination of Lemongrass, Lavender, Marjoram, Rosemary and OnGaurd and my pain has been minimal. My soul has awoken again. I did everything Chiropractor, PT, Massages, pain pills and the burning wouldn't stop. It's been THREE weeks; I truly believe that in two months I will be back to normal. I had many dreams I had given up on because this back issue would never let me sit for long, type for long or even lay down.  I have all my faith in (...). I know I can now get back on track with my Dream’s and Desires.


Pat - Massage Blend Technique.  You do the technique using the oils exactly in the order as given. Grounding Blend, Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Wintergreen, Marjoram, Cypress, and Peppermint.  Just a drop or two of each.  It should be done before bedtime when the ailing person is relaxed and ready for bed. In the morning when they gets up you will rub Helichrysum on the specific area of the back that is bothering them.   AFTER EACH MASSAGE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DRINK A LOT OF WATER. This enables the toxins that were released during the massage to be flushed from the body .

Pat - Back Pain Formula:  White Fir and Frankincense applied topically. Specifically on the arch of the foot, and the back of the foot.

Rex - An experience with back pain.  Mid April of this year, out of nowhere, I developed a severe pain on the right back side near my shoulder blade.  Since we were about to travel from Arizona to Idaho I first went to a chiropractor (very little relief), then to a medical doctor.  Both found no structural problem but could see there were severe muscle spasms.  The pain was intense and continued.  I was using cold compresses and was sporadic with my oils use.  The medical doctor gave me pain meds that I tried off and on but they had their usual bad side effects (out of it, sluggish and constipated).  Finally, after making it to Idaho, I started getting serious about using oils.  My wife (after consulting with Robert James) did something similar to the Massage Blend Technique (the ATT had not yet been made public) on my spine a couple of times the first day and then daily for about a week.  This helped the pain a lot.  But without the oils, the pain was still very intense and now included pain in my right arm with numbness down to my fingers.  By then we were in Boise and I was seeing a chiropractor friend and also my regular doctor.  Both confirmed it was the 3rd or 4th vertebrae area (I forget which) and was a protruding (slipped) disc coupled with some arthritis putting pressure on the nerves.  The chiropractor recommended and the doctor prescribed a 5 day regiment of Prednisone to get ahead of the ongoing severe pain.  I did this but also continued the ATT.   The chiropractor helped with stretching and relaxing the muscles and also provided a traction device that I could use at home.

At this point the pain was under control but still a 5 or 6 on a 10 point scale and the strength in my right hand/arm was quite diminished (could not write well or zip my pants).  Further it wasn’t getting better any faster.  So again we reviewed the oils more seriously and decided on the following regiment.  Use Massage Blend and Soothing Blend on the areas of pain from the muscle spasms (shoulder blade area and arm) and apply Helichrysum (for tissue repair and nerve damage) directly on the disc and Frankincense (for inflammation) directly on the spinal column as well.  A standard “treat both the symptoms and the root cause” strategy.  At first it was three times a day on the Massage Blend and Soothing Blend (4 or 5 drops each with a carrier) and morning with Helichrysum (2 drops, no carrier) and evening with Frankincense (2 drops, no carrier).  During this time I continued using the traction device a couple of times a day.  After a week I continued the Helichrysum and Frankincense but only applied Soothing Blend once or twice a day with just 2 or 3 drops directly on the spinal area (the spasms had gone away and this helped with the remaining pain).  Now after two weeks of the well thought out strategy, I am 95% and have almost all strength back in my arm and hand.  I have not used Soothing Blend for a couple days but will continue the Helichrysum and Frankincense for another week.

After a week I was pretty good and stopped using the oils.  A couple of weeks later I still had some weakness in my arm and hand and restarted using the Helichrysum until all was normal in another 2 weeks.

Jan - What a great story.  I have often tried to teach people that oils work differently for everyone.  What may be something that works for you, may not be the ideal protocol for others.  Your story is a perfect example.  Your pain and discomfort was the motivator, Your protocol, although based on advice from someone else, in the end seemed to be a method that you refined to fit you based on experience and intuition. That is the way it should be!  To get deeper, in my opinion...  Your sub-conscience is all knowing when it comes to your bodies needs, and when you can access that information, you will know the exact oils you need and how to use them!  Than is where, intuition, inspiration, higher power, whatever you choose to call it comes in.

I am happy for your success, and hope it will be a valuable education as you help others to trust and enjoy the oils.

PS.  Isn't it funny how when you have a medical issue, and go to the doctor, he gives you a pill.  Seems simple, but they are only effective with the issue less than half the time (statistically) and they come with side effects that are often as bad or worse than the original problem.  Some doctors think nothing of prescribing extra medications that work on symptoms of side effects!!

Unfortunately, its all about $$.  And the doctors get a kick back from big pharma for prescribing there pills, so why not prescribe!!  When you use God's gifts for healing, it requires some effort, faith, hard work and  doesn't come suspended in a syrupy glob of high fructose sugar and alcohol.


Tinas - My Dad has bone spurs in his back, recently his back has gotten really bad and he thinks a bone spur is pinching a nerve.  He lives in Canada and he can't get to the doctor and will have to wait for surgery for a long time.  

Pat - I would use the Lemongrass topically, along with Soothing Blend and Peppermint for the pain. The Lemongrass should dissolve the spurs, he needs to be consistent!!


Editor's note: April's experience with back pain.

April - My other son's kindergarten teacher had a 4-wheeler accident where it fell on top of her and she was in so much pain she thought she broke her back. Her doctor said she tore a bunch of ligaments. I didn't find out until about 3 days later, but when I did I put some Soothing Blend mixed with Wintergreen on the right side of her back. She told me she kept on thinking about how her back was still hurting, and then sometime during the night she woke up and realized it wasn't her right side that was hurting, but the OTHER side...the side she was favoring! She is a believer now too!

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying



Essentials of the Earth
Best Books, charts and
labels, go to:


How to buy essential oils.
Please visit EverythingEssentialOils.me
Click Here

Need help with "generic" blend names? Our companion website everythingessentialoils.me may help. click here

Essential Oils from the heart of plants are “Nature’s Medicine Cabinet”. The quality and purity of Essential Oils are vital to a positive experience.

Essentials of the Earth

NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.