Remedies and Essential Oils for Shoulder Pain

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  1. For topical application, always use your chosen essential oil with carrier oil. In high concentrations, it may cause skin irritation or other counterproductive effects. So you need to dilute it! There are many carrier oils to choose from. These include sesame, avocado, sweet almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, olive, and coconut oil.
  2. A patch test is worth a try. Some people are allergic to some oils. If you’re one of them, apply a bit of diluted essential oil with carrier oil on your forearm. It should be OK to use if there is no any counterproductive reaction after 24-48 hours.
  3. Talk your doctor first before trying any herbs or alternative treatments (including essential oils) if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking certain medication. Some essential oil, especially if not properly used, could be counterproductive during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And some may cause medication interactions.
  4. Avoid using large amounts of any essential oils at a time. Or ask your doctor first if you have to!
  5. Also, some essential oils are not recommended for children, especially those under age 2 years. Even rosemary oil should not be used topically for children under age 6.

In general, essential oils are safe for most people. However, there is always a chance that a few people might react negatively. So it’s much better to be aware of the risks or side effects associated with each type of essential oil you’re going to.

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  1. Lavender, when topically applied, might cause skin irritation for people who’re allergic to – though this is uncommon. It might also affect the normal hormone development in young children, so avoid using it for children who have not yet achieved their puberty.
  2. Ginger may provoke the risk of bleeding. Don’t use its oil if you’re taking a blood thinner medication!
  3. Rosemary should not be applied to mucous membranes, eyes, and any sensitive areas!
  4. Bergamot oil may increase sensitivity to the sunlight. Therefore it should not be used with any other medications that provoke this negative side effect to prevent skin rashes, blisters, or sunburn. Make sure to always use protective clothing and sunblock when you need to spend hours for your outdoor activities.
  5. Cedar oil is not recommended to be used internally, it is not safe to consume. So it’s only recommended for topical application (external use).
  6. Oil derived from the Roman chamomile may act as an emmenagogue, stimulating blood to flow into the pelvic area. Therefore, don’t use it during pregnancy!
  7. In large doses, eugenol of clove oil may cause skin irritation. So as with most essential oils, don’t overdo it! Moreover, it’s not recommended if you’re regularly taking blood-thinning medications because it slows down blood clotting.

Also, essential oils are not recommended if you have particular health medications that make their potential side effects more likely to occur. Mostly, they are not recommended for diabetics, though a few of them (e.g. bergamot oil) may help control /lower blood sugar levels. Therefore it’d better to ask your doctor first if you have a medical condition.

Apple cider vinegar

Other than being added for food flavoring, apple cider vinegar provides a variety of health advantages. It provides numerous essential components — including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — which play a role to help improve swelling and pain associated with inflammation [6].

Is there any scientific evidence to support its effectiveness for pan relief? Unfortunately, currently there is no cut answer for that question. However, it has been used for many years in traditional medicine to help treat various ailments, including for pain management.

Some people with arthritis find that it helps relieve their arthritis pain. So it’s not bad idea to give it a try to help relieve your shoulder pain, especially if your pain has to do with inflammation. Plus, it is an inexpensive remedy and affordable to try.

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In case for local pain relief, apply it topically with a cotton ball twice a day. Make sure to dilute it with carrier oil to reduce the risk of skin irritation.  Taking a bath with the vinegar before bed is also a good idea.  Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, and take about 15-20 minutes in your evening bath. This may help ease swelling and stiffness of your shoulder.

Mostly there is no risk because apple cider vinegar is safe for most adults. But it you experience an adverse reaction, stop the therapy!

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt bath has lots of folk remedy claims, including for pain relief. Although there aren’t a lot of evidences to confirm its effectiveness, in fact it’s one of common alternative options to help relieve pain associated with various conditions such as arthritis, sunburn, sore muscles, fibromyalgia, and tired (swollen feet).

What is Epsom salt? Its chemical structure is like a salt, but it’s not like the salt you put on fries. It’s different from Dead Sea salts and fancy bath crystals. It is not expensive. You can get a large box for a few dollars.

How does it work? Soaking in warm water can drive your muscles to relax. This also will loosen your stiff joints. And adding Epsom salt may make these benefits more likely, because it breaks down into sulfate and magnesium in water.

How to use it? Make sure the water is warm enough (but not hot) — very hot water can hurt your skin, making it drying out. Add 1-2 cups of the salt (for a standard-sized tub), it’d better to add it while the water is running so it dissolves more effectively. Then soak in water with your shoulder for about 15-20 minutes – just relax!

Precautions! It should not be used in whirlpool, hot tub, or something else with jets (except if you have recommendation from the manufactures). And although taking this kind of bath therapy is safe, it’d better to check with your doctor first if you have health concerns.

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