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How aromatherapy can help soothe the pain of a torn muscle?

You’re in dreadful pain as a result of a torn muscle?  Find out how aromatherapy can help you soothe the pain with a few well-chosen essential oils.


What is a torn muscle: explanation and symptoms

The rupture of a muscle can occur at any time after a too intense physical effort. A torn muscle is particularly common with people who love sport but are badly trained or have not done a good warm up.


foot race


The typical “dagger strike” type of pain comes about during a physical effort and it stops just as quickly, leaving a discomfort when walking that can be more or less severe. When a sprain has occurred, the passive stretching and contraction of the muscle provokes a pain.


The apparent mechanism is identical to a sprain but is more brutal and the pain is much more intense: walking is difficult albeit impossible. A localised swelling can be observed in the area of the pain and the appearance of a bruise, sometimes extensive in its reach.


How to treat a muscle sprain or tear

muscle illustrationAt first, time is needed for the muscle to heal and the bruising to disappear.

1- Ice is applied for about ten minutes in order to ease the pain and stimulate blood circulation.

2- The muscle is allowed to rest and all stretching is avoided. Walking with crutches is an option.

For severe lesions, a progressive return to training is essential so as to guarantee good healing and minimise the risks of recurrence.

Medical treatment: the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs.

To avoid them:

  • Rely on warm-up
  • Stretches at the start (to prepare the muscle for effort and avoid sprains) and the end of training


Should complementary examinations be undertaken?

In muscular pathologies, the use of X-rays is not relevant since they do not show muscles. The most common type of examination would be an ultra-sound. It will show if there is a sprain and show the area affected.


Muscle sprain and aromatherapy


Muscular pain can be the result of several reasons. Perhaps the reasons you are suffering from muscle pain are:

  • After a long and particularly intense training session
  • After an illness
  • A tension or stress-related event at work, in particular in the neck area, or in the head and shoulders
  • After a long trip by car or by plane
  • When affected by a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia
  • As a result of a particular injury…


Regarding muscular pain resulting from an injury, you need always to contact your GP who will be able to help you find the correct treatment and a treatment that will address the under-lying problem that is at the basis of the injury. On the other hand, if your pain follows a training session, the use of EO is an excellent option. In many cases, they will soothe inflammation and improve blood circulation to the affected area.

If you are subject to another type of medical condition, essential oils are a non-invasive option that can be used in parallel with other treatments. They could complement other therapies and help you rest and heal more effectively.

As always, speak to your GP before trying one of these oils.


3 EO to soothe a muscle sprain

Wintergreen EO

wintergreen illustrationIt is THE essential oil that every sportsperson should have at home. Comprising almost 99% of methyl salicylate, it is the “natural aspirin”. Used in local application, it acts as an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory with circulatory components, as well as an antispasmodic (it will reduce muscle contractions). It is often used for bruises, stretches, sprains and contusion…


Basic formula

Dermal application

Wintergreen EO – 3 drops Place 3 drops of this EO in the affected area

and massage at length

3 times / day

Until all pain has subsided



peppermint essential oilPeppermint is an excellent option for reducing muscular pain

Used locally, it will relax the lower-back muscles, reduce headaches caused by tension and pain caused by fibromyalgia.

When using this EO, combine it with a VO and massage the affected area. It can also be added to a bath or used as cold or hot compress.



Helichrysum EO (Helichrysum italicum)

helicrysum illustrationUseful against bruises, bumps and blows, it is also a choice EO in the treatment of muscular pain and is therefore essential to have in your aromatherapy kit. Because of its anti-bruising, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, this EO will reduce inflammation, decrease pain and assist in the repair of blood vessels and nerve endings.




Mountain arnica (Arnica montana): this oily macerate is ideal to fight muscular pain, blows, chocs, bruises. You can use it as a “basis” for diluting EO.


Other options



lavender essential oil illustration

Lavender has other benefits besides being good for relaxation and enhancing sleep. It is also one of the best EO to soothe muscular pain, it will also take care of inflammation and improve blood circulation.




pink pepper illustration

Black pepper EO is ideal for muscular problems and pain. It has a warming effect when used on the skin, making it ideal to improve blood circulation. It also has analgesic properties and can, therefore, be used for arthritic pain and for aching muscles.




  1. EUCALYPTUS CITRIODORA EO (Eucalyptus citriodora)

eucalyptusIt has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that are very effective. You can use it for stretching, sprains and muscle soreness. It is often associated with organic Gaultheria essential oil.




The formula for easing a muscle sprain

In a spray bottle or in an opaque roll-on, mix:

Apply the mixture in the place where the pain is at its worst, once every hour for the first day, then spacing it.

Beware, this is a first-aid formula and you should also contact your GP as soon as possible.


A more complete formula:

Method Ingredients Application Duration
In addition to a basic formula

Formula by D. Festy

Dermal application

Wintergreen EO – 2 drops

Eucalyptus citriodora EO – 2 drops

Rosemary Verbenon EO – 2 drops

Bay leaf / Laurel EO – 2 drops

Wild Lavender super – 2 drops

Helichrysum EO– 1 drop

VO Arnica – 10 drops

Pour this formula of essential oils on the affected area and massage at length very softly. 3 times / day

Until all pain has gone



Always used a supporting oil to dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin

If you are pregnant, you need to consult your GP before trying any of these recipes.

If the pain has been present for over three months and has a strong negative impact on your life, you need to speak to a doctor about it.


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