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Choosing the Right Massage Oil for Sore Muscles

Dhanashree Patane
Using oils for massage benefits the recovery and relief process of sore muscles. So, which oils are the best to ease sore muscle pain? Here is a quick guide to help you choose the right one.
To test for essential oil allergy, take 1 drop of oil and mix it with ½ tsp. of base or carrier oil. Rub this on your arm, on the upper portion. Wait for a few hours, and check for any allergic symptoms.

Massage is one of the oldest ways of pain relief. Sore muscles and cramps in muscles too, can be treated with massage techniques.
Using oil for massaging increases the effectiveness of the massage. There are certain oils that not only heal physical pain, but also relax the mind, making one feel better, both physically and mentally.

Many natural oils―what we know of them as essential oils―are known to be excellent for relieving pain.
These oils have natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-rheumatic properties. They deeply penetrate the skin, and are easily carried through the muscle, tissues, and blood. Essential oils are also high in antioxidants. They cleanse the lymphatic system and work on the affected muscle.
The aroma of some of these oils calms the mind, eases pain, and enhances the feeling of deep relaxation and well-being.

Best Massage Oil for Sore Muscles

Sore muscles are generally caused after exercise, when the muscles are slightly torn.
Using certain oils for massaging will help in relief from sore muscles and pain. It will also help alleviate other muscle conditions, like muscle pain, injuries, spasms, and fatigue. For sore muscles, oils that promote relaxation have a cooling or warming effect, and those which fasten recovery should be used.


Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on sore muscles. It is also a natural analgesic.
This oil can be directly used on the sore muscle or it can also be diluted with a base oil. Massage this oil until a warm effect is felt on the affected area. This oil is very strong, so make sure you first start with a few drops.


This oil has a soothing effect on the muscles. It has natural anti-spasmodic properties.
It is known to cure aches, pains, spasms, and sprains, too. It is also mentally relaxing and helps remove toxic buildup from cells.


Wintergreen is known for its anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties.
It is one of the best essential oils for relieving pain. It has a similar cooling effect like eucalyptus oil. This oil may be too intense, so make sure you use few drops first, and then gradually increase the quantity for the desired cooling sensation.


Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and a warming effect on the muscles, which brings relief to sore muscles and reduces swelling.
This oil is best used with a base oil like coconut oil, as it is one of the best carriers, and is absorbed easily by the skin, which fastens the relief process.


Rosemary is known to be used since ancient times to relieve pain.
It is an excellent antioxidant and analgesic. This oil improves blood circulation. It helps alleviate sore muscle pain.


This oil has excellent benefits.
It has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and analgesic properties. It relaxes the muscles by interfering in the pain-spasm-pain cycle and calms the muscles.


Peppermint has anti-spasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It has high level of menthol, which creates a cooling and relaxing effect on the muscles and helps relieve pain. It also calms the spasms that lead to muscle cramps.


This oil has plenty of benefits to offer.
It has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anesthetic, and antioxidant properties. This oil has a good pain-relieving effect by relaxing tight muscles. It is advised that this oil be used with a carrier or base oil.


Ginger oil creates a warm and soothing effect on tired muscles.
It improves blood circulation and blood flow. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a good choice for massage oil to relax muscles.
You can also combine two or more essential oils, and massage the affected area. Some oils are very strong; hence, they need to be diluted before use. Also, it is advised to use a base oil like jojoba, coconut, or olive oil, and mix a few drops of essential oil in it. This also makes application on larger areas easy.
Some base oils are readily absorbed by the skin, which helps essential oils reach the sore and inflamed tissues easily.

It is also recommend to check for allergies and side effects of these oils, before you use them.
Some oils may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. So, consult a medical expert first, for the slightest doubt. Essential oils combined with therapeutic massage is the best and natural option to relieve muscle soreness. Use them after proper consultation and with care!