There are many forms in which chronic pain can install itself in your body without you even noticing it. Many times, people develop chronic pain due to things that are not related to them – but they also seek medical help too late, when the condition is actually worse than it was in the beginning.
Chronic pain is very commonly misunderstood and it can be caused by many factors, but one thing is for sure: understanding it as well as you possibly can, will actually help you manage it better.
What is chronic pain, how it develops and how is it that essential oils are so… essential for its treatment? Read on and find out more about these things.
Understand Your Chronic Pain
There are various ways in which medical specialists qualify something as “chronic pain”. Some believe that pain lasting between 3-6 months is chronic.
However, some others think that chronic pain starts only from 6 months onwards. Some believe that acute pain is anything that lasts up to 30 days and that anything between 30 days and 6 months is a “subacute” pain.
Whichever way your doctor or you want to approach this, you know very well that chronic pain can be very difficult to manage.
Under certain circumstances it can alter the quality of one’s life so much that that person grows bed-ridden and other medical conditions develop as a consequence of the initial chronic pain.
Generally speaking, there are two large groups of chronic pain: the nociceptive ones (caused by the activation of the so-called “nociceptors” in the human body) and the neuropathic one (caused by a malfunction in nervous system).
The nociceptive chronic pain is also classified in multiple sub-categories. You will thus encounter deep nociceptive chronic pain and superficial nociceptive chronic pain.
Also, neuropathic pain can be peripheral or central, according to the type of nervous system in which they occur.
The Treatment for Chronic Pain
The treatment recommended for those who suffer from chronic pain depends a lot on what caused the pain from the very beginning. Today, there are several types of treatments available, including:
- Over the counter pain medication (especially for pain that is not actually chronic)
- Prescription pain medication (and other types of medication)
- Physiotherapy of many types
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (a type of psychotherapy that addresses issues through a very systematic series of procedures and which is applied in many medical conditions)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (also a type of psychological therapy)
- Alternative medicine (Ayurveda, acupuncture)
- Eastern practices (Tai-Chi, Yoga)
- Various home remedies
Whichever way you look at it, the importance of finding management therapies to learn to live with chronic pain is absolutely crucial.
Chronic pain does not come with pain only, but it can lead or coexist with other medical conditions as well, including insomnia, depression, stress and many other physical conditions as well.
How Can Essential Oils Help With Pain?
Lately, essential oils are becoming very common, but the truth is that they are more frequently used for their fragrance’s properties or for their beautifying properties.
However, as surprising as it may seem, essential oils are quite helpful in managing pain as well.
According to the type of essential oil you choose to use, it may contain elements that are actually similar to aspirin (for example) and this can really help when applied topically on the painful location.
Of course, essential oils may not be able to actually “cure” chronic pain – but then again, even when it comes to traditional chronic pain treatment methods the chances of being “cured” are quite dim.
Which Are The Best Essential Oils for Pain?
Out of the wide variety of essential oils out there, many have the power to alleviate pain. Before proceeding with a description of some of the best ones, you should still keep in mind the fact that visiting a doctor and obtaining other types of treatment is extremely important as well.
In most of the cases, managing chronic pain comes along with working with a series of medical professionals (physicians, physiotherapy specialists, alternative medicine specialists and so on). With that being said, here are some of the essential oils that actually help with pain:
1- Wintergreen essential oil. This is a type of oil that is almost miraculous when it comes to pain and the main reason it works so well is because it can contain up to 99% (with a minimum of 85%) methyl salicylate (basically, the same main ingredient as aspirin).
Both wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate naturally (the only plants in the world to have this property) and they have been used for thousands of years to alleviate pain – for example, Native Americans used these plants for pain long before the word “aspirin” had any meaning.
2- Peppermint essential oil. This is an even more common type of essential oil out there that can help people suffering from chronic pain.
However, it works in ways slightly different than wintergreen and birch oils because it simply blocks the channels that send pain signals to the brain (hence, you will perceive less pain).
3- Spruce oil. Not only will the fragrance of this oil remind you very well about Christmas, but it can also be very helpful in managing pain as well. Even more than that, it is very good for bone pain too.
4- Palo Santo oil. This oil is not called the “Holy Oil” without any reason. In fact, this very rare oil is very rich in many ingredients that help not just with different forms of pain, but with many other medical conditions as well.
For instance, it is believed to fight cancer due to its very high concentration of anti-oxidants (probably among the highest concentrations of such ingredients in the natural world).
These 4 types of oil are just some of those which can help with pain. It may be surprising, but there are lots of essential oils available that are very effective in managing this medical condition and they will be a healthy, natural way of alleviating symptoms!