Rotator cuff injuries are commonplace in people who are aging, as well as people who have repetitive use movements and their daily lives.
It’s rare that a tear or injury is acute, generally, it is a chronic overuse type injury.
This means that there is an inflammatory component behind it, and you can use essential oils for rotator cuff treatment to both reduce that inflammation and speed the healing of the shoulder.
It also means that essential oils can be used to reduce acute pain without the side effects of over-the-counter medication.
Shoulder pain that may indicate trouble generally happens with straight arm movements so raising your arm straight up from the front, or raising your arm laterally from the side occasionally you will also find issues with overhead movements.
These are all indicators that you may have some rotator cuff inflammation, or possibly even a tear.
If you try these methods and the pain doesn’t go away, it may be wise to go be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist to determine if repair is necessary.
Best Essential Oils for Rotator Cuff Issues
Essential oils are unique and complex, often pleasant-smelling triggers for the emotional mental and physical healing in our human suits.
They are made by steaming or pressing various parts of the plant, such as the flowers, bark, leaves, or fruit to capture the medicinal compounds of the plant.
It takes a whole lot of plants to make a single essential oil, because of this the medicinal properties are often very concentrated.
Remember, this method works for unofficially diagnosed symptoms, rotator cuff injury is simply the technical term for that shoulder pain and inflammation you’re experiencing, here are some essential oils to help:
1. Eucalyptus essential oil
It might remind you of vapor rub, but it has a cooling effect that helps to relieve soreness in joints, like chronically inflamed shoulders.
2. Lavender essential oil
It is very soothing, it really acts like a mild sedative, working to calm the nervous system.
When applied to the tendonitis in your shoulder, it helps to relieve the pain directly by calming the nerves.
3. Wintergreen essential oil
It helps to reduce both the pain and inflammation of this type of injury.
The active molecule in wintergreen essential oil is closely related to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, making this a powerful ally.
4. Peppermint essential oil
It might be confused with wintergreen, but is a different species of mint that can help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with shoulder injuries.
With this type of injury, nothing is broken, the tendon on the outside of your shoulder is just really angry.
Peppermint oil helps to cool those angry tissues, reducing the pain.
5. Rosemary essential oil
It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to quiet your angry shoulder.
It’s even said to be more effective than acetaminophen in reducing the pain in your inflamed shoulder. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17388768/)
How to Use Essential Oils for rotator cuff injury
Essential oils are potent, you must respect the oils friends.
Essential oils are potent that also makes them really powerful healing tools.
Another important aspect of essential oils is that they don’t mix well with water, so if you get too much of an essential oil or it gets on a sensitive spot on your body do not apply water.
Instead, have a vegetable base carrier oil, such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, or just plain old vegetable oil handy so that you can use it in case the sensation on your skin gets out of control.
Another understanding that is good for you to have, is it some people will tell you that it’s okay to ingest essential oils.
This should never be done without the supervision of a qualified clinical aromatherapist.
Essential oils should be treated like medicine and a medicine cabinet and be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
The third is that the two most effective ways to use essential oils for shoulder injury is to use the oils topically or aromatically, meaning inhale the aroma of the oil.
For best results, use a combination of both methods.
Essential Oil Recipes for the Best Relief
As mentioned, for the best results we are going to combine the topical method and the aromatic methods.
The first step is to select your oils, you can choose one oil or pair them up.
Make your selection by checking with symptoms you need the most help with.
You will notice that Lavender is included in all of these pairings, this is because it is a great supporting oil for almost every issue.
Here are a few suggested pairings for maximum results:
1. Rosemary and Lavender
Rosemary helps to reduce the pain, and paired with Lavender helps to gently sedate the nerve endings to stop pain receptors.
This works great for larger nerve issues such as with treating trigeminal neuralgia at home.
2. Peppermint and Lavender
These paired together will help cool the irritation and inflammation of the shoulder and provide mild sedation of the pain.
3. Wintergreen and Lavender
They pack a powerful punch to reduce pain, inflammation and provide a mild sedative effect to the troublesome shoulder.
4. Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender
They together help to relieve rotator cuff injury by cooling the inflamed area, providing direct analgesic relief, and the Lavender helps to keep your mind off of the irritation.
How to Apply to Soothe Your Shoulder
Safety first! Make sure you dilute your essential oil and have a nice plant-based oil nearby in case your skin starts to get warm or irritated.
Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or plant-based oil of your choice) into a small glass bowl.
Select your oil(s) from above and drop 2-4 drops of each oil or 4-6 drops total into the tablespoon of olive oil.
Swirl the bowl lightly so that the oils mix. Then dip your fingers of your opposite hand into the oil.
Massage the oil into your shoulder to help relieve the symptoms of tendonitis.
Using a circular or figure 8 motion can help to activate the oils and quickly release the pain.
Cold or Warm Compress
Remember, I can’t say it often enough, safety first! Water can increase the intensity of the essential oils.
Make sure you have a plant-based oil nearby in case of skin irritation.
Compresses can help relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling on their own.
Supercharge these well-established effects by choosing a single essential oil or one of the suggested pairings from above.
1. Scoop a tablespoon of Epsom salt or Himalayan salt into a small glass bowl.
2. Add 2-4 drops of each oil you choose, for a total of 4-6 drops to the salt, and stir it around a bit.
3. Fill your sink or bowl with hot or cold water. Hot water for pain, cold water for inflammation. Generally, you want to work on the inflammation and the pain will take care of itself.
4. Pour your salt into the water and stir to dissolve.
5. Place an old towel in the bowl and submerge it.
6. Gently wring out the towel and apply it to the affected area.
7. Leave the towel on for about 15 min. You can store it in an airtight container and use the same towel multiple times.
The scent tent is a simple way to maximize your topical application by adding an aromatic component.
This works on the limbic system through your nasal passages and has a direct pathway to your brain to turn off pain and inflammation centers.
1. While you are preparing for either the Massage or Compress Method above, simply pause, place one drop of each oil in your hand.
2. Swirl it around to activate it and then carefully cup your nose to inhale through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth.
3. Repeat for 3-4 breaths.
Any of these methods will help you to relieve your pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis or rotator cuff injury.
You can use essential oils for rotator cuff problems to help reduce your reliance on over the counter pain medications or prescription pain medications and the unwanted side effects that they cause.
As with essential oil treatments for anything from tennis elbow or a slow-to-heal sprained ankle, if any problem persists for a period of time after trying these EOS you might be wise to get an orthopedic evaluation.