With more and more people turning to holistic, natural methods for healthcare treatment and pain relief as the years go by, essential oils have really gained ground and popularity. If you have ever researched the products available, there appears to be an oil out there that can treat just about any kind of ailment.

One of the most common reasons that people visit a doctor or a chiropractor is to deal with complaints from neck and back pain. Most of the time, over-the-counter medications, pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, adjustments in the spine, or massage is the recommendation that's given. While some of these are considered to be natural, others can have extensive side effects. Others will only cover up the problem for a short time, and when it returns, it is worse than what it was before. Find out more about how arnica essential oil can alleviate neck and back pain and eventually the problem altogether.

The Story Behind Arnica Essential Oil

Arnica essential oils, like many others, have been used in medicine since the 1500s. The compound comes from the dried or fresh flowers of the arnica. It is still actively being used today for the mere reason that it works to reduce both pain and inflammation. Some of the ailments that get treated with arnica oil are:

  • Sprains
  • Muscle aches
  • Wounds
  • Inflammation
  • Bruises
  • Insect bites

The most common method for administering the oil is through topical application in a salve, ointment, or skin cream. The 100% pure oil must be dissolved inside a carrier gel, lotion, oil, or cream. Regular carriers are coconut oil, argan oil, and olive oil. The standard mixture is six tablespoons carrier oil to every 15 drops of essential oil used.



It is almost never taken orally and never without the strict supervision of a qualified doctor. If is taken that way, the oil is extremely diluted. The oil should never be applied on broken skin or for lengthy periods of time. Excessive use can cause blisters, peeling, or other skin conditions.

Treating Neck and Back Pain with Arnica Oil

When there is pain or discomfort in the neck or back areas, there are a variety of reasons why. These parts of the body are incredibly complex, and that makes them more prone to being overworked and injured at some point in most people's lives. In fact, up to 80 percent of Americans complain of pain in the neck or back at some point during their lives. The pain can be the result of injury, illness, sprains, strains, torn muscles, disrupted joints, stretched ligaments, and for several other reasons.

Not everyone chooses the same path for treatment when they have problems with their necks and backs. Some people will go and see their medical doctors. That's where they will be given medication and maybe a recommendation for physical therapy to take care of the issue. In severe cases, surgery may be an option that is put out on the table. Other individuals will opt for chiropractic care for neck pain for a lesser invasive method.

Then come the percentage of individuals who use essential oils like arnica for pain and inflammation. It's expected that the industry surrounding this form of care is going to reach over $11 billion by the year 2022.

Research indicates that applying a topical form of arnica onto sore muscles four times a day for five days can reduce the pain and soreness within the first three days. The ointment can be applied to the skin directly above the location where there is pain present for up to three weeks at a time safely. Other individuals have discovered that taking a D30 homeopathic version of the mixture before taking part in strenuous activities has helped to reduce pain over the course of several days.

Are There Side Effects to Arnica Oil for Neck and Back Pain?

Unlike pharmaceutical medications and some over-the-counter drugs, there are very minimal side effects that have been reported following the use of the substance. Arnica should never be used orally especially without being highly diluted as it can result in sore throats, stomach pain, diarrhea, rashes, vomiting, increased heart rate, coma, and even death.

It is suggested by professionals that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding not apply arnica oil to their skin or take it orally in any dilution. As long as the product is used under the close supervision of a qualified medical doctor or homeopathic professional, these side effects are minimal to non-existent.

Starting an Arnica Oil Regimen for Neck and Back Pain

Unless you are an essential oil guru, you should not start using arnica oil for your neck and back pain without consulting with an expert. While it has been proven to be effective over the course of the last several centuries, there is still a right and a wrong way to use it. Applying it the proper way will lead to a plethora of benefits while the incorrect method will cause further inflammation, swelling, and pain.

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About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor's of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.

Works Cited

  • Arnica. (2015, March 24). Retrieved September 13, 2018, from PennState Hershey Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000222
  • Back Pain Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from American Chiropractic Association: https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Health-Wellness-Information/Back-Pain-Facts-and-Statistics
  • Grand View Research, Inc. (2015, October 8). Essential Oil Market Size To Reach $11.67 Billion By 2022: Grand View Research, Inc. Retrieved September 13, 2018, from PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/essential-oil-market-size-to-reach-1167-billion-by-2022-grand-view-research-inc-531216151.html
  • The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm



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