Essential oils are natural oils acquired from plant material usually through a distillation and oil extraction process. Because of their chemical properties, many essential oils have natural healing benefits for the body, including pain relief. Essential oils are also used for aromatherapy because they have concentrated plant or flower fragrance.
Running-Induced Joint Pain
Running is a high-impact sport, which means runners place a lot of stress on their ankle, hip and knee joints. Don't run too far or run at a pace too fast for your current level. This can strain and irritate tendons, tissues and joints. Sometimes, running on rocky, slanted and uneven surfaces can cause injury. Choose softer surfaces to run on, such as asphalt and running tracks. Wear supportive running shoes and replace them when they start to wear out to prevent or reduce joint pain. Don't run when you have joint pain. Make sure you see a doctor if you have persistent joint pain.
Analgesic Vs. Anti-inflammatory Essential Oils
Analgesic essential oils are essential oils that have pain-relieving properties. German chamomile oil, Roman chamomile oil and lavender oil are analgesic oils that also act as sedatives. Eucalyptus oil, peppermint, thyme and rosemary are analgesic essential oils that act as stimulants. Anti-inflammatory essential oils reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, making them useful for massages when you have swollen or tired joints. German and Roman chamomile oil, Helichrysum oil, Turmeric oil and Yarrow oil are all anti-inflammatory. They also alleviate pain from sprained joints, osteoporosis and arthritis.
Turmeric Essential Oil
Turmeric is a South Asian herb that is often dried and ground into a yellow powder for use in curries. Turmeric essential oil has antioxidant properties that boost the body's natural defense system to help prevent colds, diseases and the effects of aging. Because turmeric is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it is especially useful for joint pain caused by running.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil is anti-inflammatory and has a calming, sedative effect. Roman chamomile is considered more effective as a sedative, while German chamomile is more effective for reducing inflammation. Chamomile oils relieve pain in the muscles and the joints, and they even reduce pain caused by bone injury. Chamomile essential oil is also used for lowering blood pressure and reducing blood vessel inflammation and swelling.
- MassageToday.com: Essential Oils for Pain Relief; Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT; 2009
- OrganicFacts.net: Health Benefits of Camomile Essential Oil
- FitSugar.com: Run For Your Life: Joint Pain and Running
- EssentialOilResources.com: Essential Oils For Natural Pain Relief; Beth Ley Knotts, Ph.D.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Runner's Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)
- FamilyDoctor.org: Running - Preventing Overuse Injuries
- Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images