9 Best Essential Oils for Sore, Painful Muscles


sore muscle in leg running

Dealing with sore muscles? Maybe your muscles are tired and in pain from a heavy bout of the flu, a long workout. Maybe you’re suffering from a chronic condition like Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and are on the lookout for some long term treatment help.

Muscular aches and pains can affect any part of the body. Many people carry tension in their necks and shoulders, which causes the muscles to become tight and painful.

Muscular pain can also be caused by overexertion, poor posture, cold or damp, injury, stress, and tension. It can also be related to other complaints such as rheumatism, arthritis, lower back pain or a slipped disk.

At any rate, you’re on the right path to soothing that sore pain by stopping by here! Below you’ll find a good deal of essential oils, oil blends, topical applications and additional recommendations to help you soothe the pain in your muscles and calm your body in the process.

Let’s get into the oils now! Below you’ll find a list of essential oils that are perfect fits for soothing your sore and painful muscles.

After you read about the individual oils we’ll go over some oil blends and application tips to make sure you’re applying your essential oils correctly. Next we’ll cover some additional natural remedies for sore and tired muscles. We’ll close with any extra tips, and then I’ll wave you goodbye as you go on your way!

Related: 7 Essential Oils for Back Pain & Sciatica

9 Essential Oils & Oil Blends for Sore Muscles & Muscle Pain

essential oil bottles sunset with a candle

Below you’ll find a list of helpful individual essential oils.

While essential oils may not be the best medicine for all of our modern-day complaints, they are phenomenal remedies for complaints related to sore and painful muscles.  And the ones listed below are the best of the best for the job!

Related: 14 Essential Oils for Joint Pain & Discomfort

1.) Lavender Essential Oil

essential oil bottle with lavender candle and stones

Lavender is an all-around therapeutic oil. I’m sure you already know how good this stuff is! Lavender’s wealth of therapeutic actions mean it’s a great fit for anti-inflammatory, calming, and parasympathetic inducing purposes. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties contained within lavender oil are beneficial to use on aching muscles. Lavender will also ease swelling and improve blood circulation.

(Buy Now | Read More about Lavender Essential Oil)

Related: 14 Potent Aphrodisiac Essential Oils for your Love life, Romance, Sex & Libido

2.) Rosemary Essential Oil


Rosemary oil is another fantastic all-around oil. In addition to its brain tonic qualities, it contains high levels of analgesic properties which support with aches, pains, and arthritis. Rosemary can be applied topically for a wide variety of ailments, including reducing cellulite, improving hair growth and healing skin.

(Buy Now | Learn More About Rosemary Essential Oil)

Related: 14 Uplifting Essential Oils for Energy & Wakefulness

3.) Black pepper Essential Oil

black pepper essential oil-1

Black pepper is one of the best oils for muscular aches and pains. It is highly warming and circulation improving. It also contains pain-relieving properties. For this reason, it is great not only for relief or arthritis and sore muscles but for pre-exercise pain prevention and stiffness reduction.

(Buy Now | Learn More About Black Pepper Essential Oil)

Related: 12 Essential Oils for Sleep: Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

4.) Thyme Essential Oil


Thyme helps treat joint and muscle pain with its warming action on the body. For this reason, it is also beneficial for arthritis and rheumatism. It also lowers blood pressure while also increasing blood circulation. Thyme is particularly effective for aches and pains caused by over exercising or sports injuries.

(Buy Here | Learn More About Thyme Essential Oil)

Related: 15 Essential Oils for Effective Anxiety & Stress Reduction

5.) Ginger Essential Oil

ginger powder root candied

Ginger oil provides relief from aching muscles and eases spasms in the muscles. Ginger supports muscles in this way with its warming action together with its analgesic properties. These properties help it to soothe painful joints, muscles and symptoms of arthritis.

You can buy ginger essential oil here.

Related: How to Safely and Effectively Inhale Essential Oils

6.) Eucalyptus Essential Oil

eucalyptus inhalation towel bowl

Massaging eucalyptus oil over sore joints and muscles helps to relieve aches and pains as it contains strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

(Buy Here | Learn More About Eucalyptus Essential Oil)

Related: 3 Best High-Capacity Essential Oil Diffusers for Large Rooms

7.) Marjoram Essential Oil

wild oregano marjoram

With excellent warming, soothing and antispasmodic properties marjoram oil helps to ease joint pain and muscle spasms. It is also beneficial for brain health, grief, high blood pressure, arthritis, indigestion, circulation – among many others!

(Buy Now | Learn More About Marjoram Essential Oil)

Related: 8 Essential Oils for Hair Loss, Thinning & Alopecia

8.) Peppermint Essential Oil


A refreshing and uplifting oil, peppermint helps to reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration. It is also beneficial for aching joints and muscular aches and pains when applied in massage or bath.

(Buy Here | Learn More About Peppermint Essential Oil)

Related: 22 Essential Oils for Effective Treatment of Acne

9.) Cypress Essential Oil


Cypress oil is another antispasmodic oil which helps to clear out cramps, stress, tension, and swelling. It is a great oil to add to your sore muscle mixture.

You can buy cypress essential oil here.

Related: 12 Essential Oils for Wrinkles and Aging Skin

9 Essential Oil Based Recipes and Application Methods for Sore & Painful Muscles

essential oils bottles bright flowers white background

If your muscles are extremely sore don’t expect the pain to subside after a single essential oil massage application. You might have to give yourself two to three days rest and massage/bath treatment before you completely recover.

Rest is the best medicine for sore muscles, followed by hot baths and massage! Muscular aches and pains respond well to local massage. Below you’ll find some muscle-soothing massage blends to apply. Massages are best applied after a warm shower or bath.

Related: 5 Essential Oils for Dry, Cracked & Flakey Skin

1.) Muscle fatigue massage formula


2.) Muscle relief massage oil


3.) Over-exerted muscles massage formula


Related: 7 Best Essential Oils for Effective Cellulite Treatment

4.) Muscle cramp massage oil


Alternate blend:


  1. In a 5 mL glass dropper bottle combine your oils.
  2. Shake to blend.
  3. Massage a little of this blend into the affected muscles. (Walking and stretching the muscles will also help.)

Related: 17 Best Essential Oils for Effective Eczema Treatment


foot bath

5.) Sore Muscle Marjoram Lemon Bath



Simply add the essential oils to your bath and enjoy. Be sure to massage your sore muscles while bathing.

6.) Sore Muscle Soak



  1. Fill the tub with warm water
  2. While tub fills pour your Epsom salts into a small non-reactive bowl
  3. Next add 1 drop of time of your essential oils, stirring as you go
  4. Once oils and salts are thoroughly mixed add to your tub
  5. Agitate and disperse oils
  6. Soak in the tub for 30 minutes, gently massaging your sore muscles as you soak

Related: 8 Essential Oils for Weight Loss with Recipes & Application Tips

7.)Rheumatism blend for bath or massage

Sometimes our sore muscles can arise from inflammatory disorders of the joints and connective tissues (between tend and bone, or between muscle and muscle.

If you are dealing more with what you think could be an inflammatory bout of sore muscles, give this blend a try.



In the bath

  • Fill your tub with warm water.
  • While filling combine 1 tsp milk and 4 to 6 drops of your oil blend in a non-reactive bowl
  • Add mixture to the tub and agitate and disperse the oil
  • Soak for 30 minutes, massaging any floating droplets of oil into your sore muscles


  • In a small non-reactive bowl combine 4 tsp grapeseed or sweet almond oil and 12 drops of your rheumatism blend
  • Mix well and massage into sore muscles

Related: 7 Essential Oils for Headaches & Migraines with Recipes & Application Tips

Preventative Essential oil blend to tone muscles and reduce pain following strenuous exertion

older women healthy workout


As a preventative treatment apply this massage oil before you head out on a workout.



  1. Combine ingredients in a 2 oz glass bottle.
  2. Apply by rubbing gently onto the whole body, focusing on the muscles that will have to work the most

Related: 12 Pain Relieving Essential Oils for Nerve Pain

Avoid overexertion

If you are getting extreme muscle soreness right after a workout, and not delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that shows up the next day, that may be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. In other words, you might actually be damaging your body, and not in a “ooh, feel the burn!” good kind of way.


Thanks for stopping by and reading about different ways to treat your muscles.

Hopefully, this post has been helpful for you!

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comment section below

Welcome to EOSanctuary

Hi. Glad to see you here. My name is Loren Elara and I run Essential Oil Sanctuary. I’d love to connect with you and share ideas. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please make yourself heard.

Essential Oil Sanctuary is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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17 thoughts on “9 Best Essential Oils for Sore, Painful Muscles”

  1. Taking a sore muscle marjoram lemon bath sounds like heaven. I love bathing but lately it hasn’t been doing much for my sore muscles. I will have to try adding these essential oils to the bath water next time. Is it okay to add bubble bath in as well with the oils?

  2. What are the best oils for Fibromyalgia/arthritis and back pain to to disc herniation? And if it can be used with Epson salt?

    1. I am new to essential oils, but I have all of the above that you mentioned and more. I have found that peppermint and eucalyptus oils in my bath feels like I’ve taken a bath in Icy Hot! It’s the greatest feeling ever. You can stand the heat of the bath longer, which is good for you, because of the icy side of the benefits keeping you cooler. Once you’re out and the icy feeling fades, the warmth sets in, but not to the point that you sweat or would be uncomfortable. This phase feels wonderful too. I am 37, a single mom, and way too young to be dealing with this. I’ve had all these issues since I was about 20. Now that I’ve discovered this, I do my best to take a bath every single day because I know I deserve a break in the pain and I would imagine it will have an overall affect on my stress level in the long term.

  3. The sore muscle recipe that you have up top is OUTSTANDING – I am going to highlight this post of yours and tell my readers to head to this page to get this recipe! Thanks Loren!

  4. essential oils for sore muscles

    So interesting and creative
    information in this article
    essential oils for sore muscles
    Thank you for
    sharing this

  5. essential oils for sore muscles

    This was a so nice and interesting
    information in this
    essential oils for sore muscles
    Thank you .

  6. Jessicaroy

    I really like your article…
    Great information! I believe essential oils are one of the best natural healing tools we have and people should be using them more. Visiting from Healthy Happy Green & Natural blog hop.
    Thanks for sharing…

  7. Jessicaroy

    Great information! I believe essential oils are one of the best natural healing tools we have and people should be using them more.
    I really appreciate your article

    Thanks for sharing…keep posting

  8. love essentials

    Thank you so much for all this helpful information!!! it is much appreciated!!

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I love essential oils and want to learn more to help with my post viral fatigue and sore muscles 🙂

  10. Genevieve

    Hi Loren, I’m getting into the divine gift that is essential oils, and am trying to educate myself. Thanks for sharing these tips, but I was wondering if you could give your readers more info about your own credentials and expertise in recommending EOs…

    1. Hi Genevieve. I am just a laymen when it comes to oils. I make own blends according to recipes from authorities on the subject, and have been for a few years. I get all of my information for this blog from well known authors who’ve published books in the past decade.

  11. in a 5mls bottle, what dilution rate are we looking at here? seems like the no of drops of EO in a 5mls bottle is a bit too strong? please advise.

  12. Hello, I’m new to this site. I suffer from a brain tumor with no less than 2 migraines a day w/ dizziness , and also chronic back spasms . I’m so looking forward to trying your suggestions . Really want to do something else along w/ my meds. Thank you for sharing!

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