Muscle and Joint First Aid in Aromatherapy

Though sometimes referred to as sports injuries, problems such as strains and sprains, muscle cramps and knee injuries can also happen while walking in the country side, climbing stairs, or when doing housework or gardening. The Muscles and Joints first-aid article suggests treatments for such problems. It does not cover serious conditions such as fractures and broken bones for such injuries need urgent medical attention.

Muscle and Joint First-Aid


Description: This occurs at a joint when the ligaments and tissues around the joint are suddenly wrenched or torn for example a sprained wrist or ankle.

Methods of Use: Cold or icy compress massage above and below the injury (not directly over the damaged area) to increase drainage of fluids.


Description: This occurs when a muscle or group of muscles is over-stretched and possibly torn by violent or sudden movement, for example back strain as a result of heavy lifting.

Methods of Use: Cold or icy compress. Once swelling has subsided, hot aromatic bath (up to 8 drops essential oil and 3 table-spoonfuls sea salt) followed by massage. An aromatic ointment will also help in healing.

Symptoms: Sharp pain which may radiate outwards with subsequent stiffness and/or cramp. There may also be swelling at the site of injury.

Further Advice: Rest is a vital part of the healing process. If you have strained the muscles of an arm or leg. it is important to elevate the injured part above the level of the earth to prevent the  accumulation of excess fluids (support with cushions or pillows).

Recommended Essential Oils: See Strain.


Description: This usually affects the cartilage in the knee. May be the result of a sporting incident. such as a missed kick, by slipping off a step or by twisting the body whilst the weight is balanced on one.

Methods of Use: Icy compress, massage above and below the site of injury (directly over the swelling) to help drain off accumulated fluid.

Symptoms: Pain and tenderness around the joint. Often followed by swelling and bruising.

Further Advice: Rest the injured part. Elevate the limb to prevent: the accumulation or excess fluids (support with cushions or pillows).

Recommended Essential Oils: Chamomile (German or Roman), cypress, geraniun, lavender, marjoram, pine, rosemary, vetiver.

Knee Injury

Symptoms: Pain around the knee, more commonly on the inner side. Difficulty in straightening the knee. Swelling may occur due to fluid collecting in the joint.

Further Advice: Having applied the icy compress, protect the knee by bandaging firmly enough to support the knee but not so tight as to cause discomfort or affect circulation. Rest with knee elevated to prevent accumulation of of excess fluid.

Caution: Never attempt to change the bent position of the knee or attempt to straighten it.

Recommended Essential Oils: As for Sprains and Strains.


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