Have you been diagnosed with tendonitis in your upper forearm, known as tennis elbow? Perhaps you are just having that classic pain on the outside of your elbow and you need some quick and natural relief?
Tennis elbow can have you wondering how you’ve never noticed how much you bend your arm even if you aren’t working your way to a tennis championship.
Painful tendinitis at the all important joint above our forearm happens to the average, non-athlete that worked too hard in their yard, the plumber that turned too many wrenches, the daycare worker that lifted too many toddlers for a hug.
Many activities can cause this!
Treatment for tennis elbow can be tough. Often you have the choice between time and rest and over-the-counter medications.
This can be an issue because anti-inflammatory medications often have side effects, and the rest, ice, and elevation method may not fit in your schedule.
Luckily there are many alternatives available to assist in finding relief from inflammation associated with this type of injury. Essential oils for tennis elbow can help with pain relief and inflammation without all of the side effects of taking oral medication.
Essential Oils for Tennis Elbow Discomfort Relief
Essential oils are plant essences that are extracted from specific medicinal plants using steam distillation or mechanical processes.
These essences hold are highly concentrated versions of plant properties and can be used for all sorts of physical, mental, emotional, and energetic healing.
Remember, tendinitis is just a fancy word for what is going on with that throbbing in your forearm and elbow when you try to grip something or when you apply pressure.
While ice or a cold cloth can get you started to recovery, I can only tell you how beneficial the following information will be!
Here are six easy to find essential oils to help:
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil can help relieve the soreness and inflammation associated with tennis elbow.
With tennis elbow, nothing is broken and there are no sore muscles really; the tendon on the outside of your elbow is just really angry. Peppermint oil helps to cool those angry tissues, making them feel much better.
Lavender oil acts as a mild sedative, acting on the neurotransmitter GABA, which works to calm the nervous system. When applied to the tendonitis in your elbow, it helps to relieve the joint pain directly instead of secondarily through the inflammation.
Wintergreen essential oil helps to reduce both the pain and inflammation with tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is simply chronically inflamed tendons in your elbow, usually on the outside of the affected side.
The active molecule in wintergreen essential oil is closely related to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and products.
Rosemary essential oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to quiet your angry elbow. It’s even said to be more effective than acetaminophen in reducing stiffness and the intensity of your hurting tissue in your elbow.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a cooling effect much like peppermint. This helps to relieve tired sore joints, like chronically inflamed elbows. Have you ever used an Icey Hot style ointment? Eucalyptus is a chemical-free way to achieve a similar effect.
Helichrysum is a little pricier but worth the investment. When applied to the chronic inflammation of tennis elbow and sore forearm muscles, It increases blood flow to the area in need and speeds the healing process along.
How to Use Essential Oils for Your Tennis Elbow?
Essential oils are potent, meaning they are very strong. Their strength and potency are important to their healing properties, but it also makes it important for you to know a few points before beginning.
The first thing to know is that since these plant essences are so potent, you must use them properly. Respect the oils, friends.
The second thing to know is that essential oils are hydrophobic, meaning they don’t blend well with water. You know that oil and water don’t mix right? Neither to do essential oils and water.
It’s dangerous to ingest essential oils, so don’t do it without proper care to reduce the risk of making yourself feel worse than you already do!
The third is that the two most effective ways to use essential oils for tendinitis is to use them topically or aromatically, meaning inhale the aroma of the oil. For best results, use a combination of both methods.
Best Way to Apply…
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 bottle of 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.
What Oils to Pair?
Here are a few suggested pairings for maximum results again tendonitis:
Rosemary and Lavender
Rosemary helps to reduce the ouch in your elbow, and when you blend it with Lavender it serves to keep your mind off of it too.
Peppermint and Lavender
These two paired together will help cool the irritation and inflammation of the elbow and provide mild sedation of the pain.
Wintergreen and Lavender
Together, these two can blend together and pack a powerful punch to reduce tennis elbow pain, inflammation, and provide a mild sedative effect to the troublesome elbow.
Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender
Combine all three of these together help relieve joint discomfort and calm your upper forearm by cooling the inflamed area, providing direct analgesic relief, and the Lavender helps to keep your mind off of the irritation.
Application Methods and Recipes
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. Don’t worry, this risk is all too common and easily avoided.
Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or plant-based oil of your choice) into a small glass bowl. This is your carrier oil.
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 blend well with the carrier oil. Then dip your fingers of your opposite hand into the oil. Massage the oil into your elbow to help relieve the symptoms of tendinitis.
Using a circular or figure 8 motion can help to activate the oils and quickly release the pain. You’ll feel a better range of motion in no time.
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 bring relief, bringing down inflammation and swelling on their own. Supercharge these well-established results by choosing a single essential oil or one of the suggested pairings from above.
- Scoop a tablespoon of Epsom salt or Himalayan salt into a small glass bowl.
- 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.
- 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 soreness will take care of itself.
- Pour your salt into the water and stir to dissolve.
- Place an old towel in the bowl and submerge it.
- Gently wring out the towel and apply it to the affected area.
- 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 aromatherapy works on the limbic system through your nasal passages and has a direct pathway to your brain to turn off pain and inflammation centers.
- While you are preparing for either the Massage or Compress Method above, simply pause, place one drop of each oil in your hand.
- Swirl it around to activate it and then carefully cup your nose to inhale through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat for 3-4 breaths for optimal aromatherapy treatment.
Any of these methods will help you to relieve your pain and inflammation associated with tendinitis and tennis elbow.
Essential oils are powerful and potent tools. As with other ailments like trigger finger or discomforting gallbladder symptoms, essential oils for tennis elbow are a natural and low-risk way to find relief without the systemic effects of oral medication.