Achy joints and swelling in our limbs from injury or ailments are both hard to manage and a pain (literally) to deal with.
There’s nothing worse than twisting an ankle and then living with a swollen foot for the next several days while it heals. We have a hard time finding downtime as it is! Then, it seems like the swelling and pain seem to take years to go away. We just can’t catch a break.
For those with chronic pain and inflammation due to medical conditions like osteoarthritis or previously sustained injuries, lasting relief can be hard to come by. This can exasperate other areas of your life and cause anxiety, stress, or a lack of sleep.
While many require medical intervention, adding essential oils to your routine might be part of the answer. Let’s discuss.
The Original Pain Relief Remedy
For thousands of years, indigenous tribes have used essential oils to treat issues like muscle pain and joint inflammation. Here at The Natural Patch Co., we believe relief can be found naturally or as naturally as possible.
We understand that essential oils might not always be enough on their own for those suffering from chronic inflammation, but added to your existing pain treatments will be able to provide more pain-free moments than you’re currently experiencing.
For those dealing with minor and temporary pain and swelling, essential oils may be able to provide all the healing power you need without adding over-the-counter analgesic medications.
Let’s discuss oil’s anti-inflammatory effects and its powers as a pain reliever.
Understanding Pain and Inflammation
The two words go hand-in-hand quite often. Generally, you feel the pain from inflammation or notice inflammation at the site of pain. There’s also the issue of swelling versus inflammation. These two may seem synonymous with each other, but they are, in fact, different issues.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to infection or injury. Your body sends antibacterial or germ-fighting agents to the affected area and reacts to combat the pain and the problem-causing cells.
What Is Swelling?
Swelling is the reaction of localized pain or injury. You’ll swell after spraining an ankle, getting a bug bite, or coming into contact with an allergen. Inflammation is a long-term problem that can be tricky to manage.
How Do Swelling and Inflammation Relate?
The build-up of fluids around pain is caused by swelling. You can think of it as inflammation is internal; it’s the body trying to fight off infection or serious injury to ligaments and joints. The body's reaction is the swelling and the external appearance of joints and limbs.
Both of these issues can cause pain. Inflammation may cause a deeper pain that can be harder to manage. Pain from swelling will be more localized to the area of issue and is often easier to treat.
The exception here is when the swelling is caused by chronic muscle aches or acute inflammation. In this instance, swelling could be a troublesome issue that might need to be managed instead of treated and eliminated.
It Gets Complicated
The terms swelling and inflammation get complicated and intertwined. The bottom line: neither should ever be ignored. If left untreated, either of these issues can lead to long-term complications.
If left untreated, you can develop trouble completing everyday activities like walking and writing. You may also develop issues like stiffness and trouble stretching over time. The longer you leave these problems unresolved, the harder it will be to remedy the situation. Basically, it’s much like the time when your kids left that box of donuts under their bed; it took forever to finally get rid of all the ants.
Essential Oils To Manage Pain and Inflammation
Inflammation and pain can be formidable opponents, but you’re not alone in that fight. Besides the advice of your support team, we have a few special things we like to have in our back corner.
Essential oils can be incorporated into your pain and inflammation regimens for an all-natural additive. Essential oils can help treat many issues, especially with their amazing anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to your healthcare plan, oils can be a great complementary tool.
Some of the best essential oils are:
- Clary Sage
These are just some of the essential oils that can provide relief from pain and skin inflammation.
Essential Oils: A Full Spectrum of Care
As we said, these are just a small collection of essential oils that can support health. Many essential oils provide healing qualities that play off each other — the ultimate teamwork.
Sometimes, the effects of pain and inflammation lead to other issues. For example, while managing joint swelling or inflammation pain, you may find it hard to rest at night, and sleep is sparse.
Essential oils like lavender and chamomile can aid in helping your body rest and relax and drift off to sleep. Our SleepyPatch is the perfect nighttime companion, providing up to eight hours of sleepy time magic. Each SleepyPatch is geared towards sleep wellness, including sweet marjoram, lavender, and vetiver.
How To Use Essential Oils
To use essential oils safely, you need to start by diluting the extracts. The bottles of pure essential oils that you buy are strong compounds that are unsafe to use on their own. It’s a sort of “they don’t know their own strength” sort of thing: well-intentioned but accidentally harmful.
Here’s the how-to on topical application:
You’ll need a carrier oil to dilute them in; coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil are familiar favorites. These oils will carry the compounds effectively to make them safe for use without diluting the effects of the extract themselves.
Once you have decided on the perfect carrier oil, you’ll need to decide which essential oils will benefit you personally. If pain or inflammation is causing you stress and anxiety, your ideal blend might focus more on mental health than physical health.
Once you have added a few drops of extracts to a carrier oil, your essential oil blend is ready for use. Let the healing begin!
How To Use an Essential Oil Blend
There are quite a few ways to use essential oils, and they each come with unique qualities, like timing, strength, and effectiveness.
Applying Directly On Skin
Diluted essential oils can be applied directly to the skin and can start to work in as little as five minutes. The timing depends on how well and fast your skin can absorb the oils and enter the bloodstream.
The issue with the topical application is that the oils are often rubbed away before the skin can thoroughly absorb them.
Another issue with this type of use is an allergic reaction to the oils. Skin can be very sensitive, and rashes can be quick to develop. If you typically have sensitive skin, you may want to apply the oil blend to only a small area of skin, known as a patch test.
If you experience any side effects like skin irritation or discomfort at the application site, you know that topical use isn’t for you.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy is a holistic medicine practice that utilizes the olfactory nerves. When breathed in, the aromas and scents of essential oils trigger the olfactory sense to send messages to the brain. These messages turn into chemical responses, sending restorative signals throughout our bodies.
In relation to pain and inflammation, a great example would be the healing qualities of clary sage. This essential oil is used in various ways, including reducing pain from menstrual or digestive complications.
The scents of clary sage will trigger the appropriate responses in our brains to send hormone-balancing chemicals to these areas and alleviate the pain associated with the problem.
Others like turmeric help promote fluid dispersal in those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Certain oils, like lemongrass, can help alleviate arthritis pain, according to a clinical study from 2017.
Aromatherapy can be very effective, but diffusers have the disadvantage of being stationary and not always big enough for their room.
This is why we created our patches. These fun stickers go with you everywhere you need to be and are packed with enough essential oils to last eight hours (an important number for school kids and office workers — our patches work for everyone!).
These patches will release oil blends at regular intervals to ensure that the effects don’t wear off and you feel them for the entirety of their use.
Pain, inflammation, or sore muscles can cause stress and anxiety since you can’t relax fully. Thankfully, we created the ZenPatch that can work to relax those chemical responders in your brain, taking them from freaking out to chilling. This patch is loaded with sweet orange, mandarin, atlas cedarwood, and lavender essential oils.
Find What Works For You
The bottom line is this: we believe in the power of essential oils and how well they can help treat symptoms of pain, inflammation, and a variety of other issues.
We believe in doing things as naturally as possible and essential oils are on the side of all-natural healing. With some help from Mother Nature, your day can be a little kinder and a little sweeter.
Swelling vs. Inflammation | Medical Academic
Essential Oils for Knee and Joint Pain | WebMD
Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work? | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Essential Oils for Pain Relief: Does It Work? | Healthline
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers | MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia