Disc, Degenerative or Herniated
Degenerative Disc disease (DDD) of the spine can be extremely painful and greatly affect the quality of one's life. Symptoms include chronic low back pain that may radiate to the hips, buttocks or thighs while walking, and sporadic tingling or weakness through the knees may also be evident. Similar pain may also be felt while sitting, bending, lifting and twisting. Chronic neck pain may indicate by degenerative disc in the upper spine, where pain radiates to the shoulders, arms and hands.
There are some who believe that degenerative disks can be caused by two things:
1. Inadequate water intake (body will rob the synovial fluid cushioning sac from the disks)
2. Stretched out ligaments (they no longer hold the disks in place properly, resulting in the muscles tightening up on the nerves which may cause numbness/burning pain).
Ligaments can lose elasticity because of antibiotic usage, cortisone and/or pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or other so called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Poor nutrition/hydration is damaging to the ligaments as well. Accidents/injuries are also related to ligament loss of elasticity.
Lemongrass is well-known for its supportive effect on ligaments. We have also found that walking backwards 20 minutes daily will help support the body in easing herniated disks. Essential oils noted for disc issues are: Helichrysum, Silver Fir and Pain-X. An MSM supplement should be considered as well.
With a herniation, there is a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc, which allow the soft, central portion to bulge out. This tear may result in the release of inflammatory chemicals which may directly cause pain. The pain can range from little to unrelenting pain that radiates into the area served by the affected nerve roots that are irritated or impinged. Numbness, tingling, musclular weakness and paralysis may also accompany a herniated disc. Herniations can occur from constant lifting. Lifting while bent at the waist, rather than lifting with the legs while the back is straight, may cause a tear and herniation.
Essential Oils for Back Pain by Valerie Worwood:
Basil (Ocimum basilcum)
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Chamomile German (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile Roman (Anthemis nobilis)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
Juniperberry (Juniperus communis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Marjoram, sweet (Origanum majorana)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Plai (Zingiber cassumunar)
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Thyme ct linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct linalool)
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Ice pack application is typically effective for inflammation (lumbago, sciatica and fibrositis)
Heat application is typically effective for muscle tension.
1. As a massage therapist, I have found that giving a massage similar to a Raindrop Technique and including oils such as Helichrysum, Pain-X and Frankincense, which have helped the most. After 5-8 applications, most report that the original discomfort is totally gone.
2. My stiff hips, limping and chronic lower back pain is gone after consistent use of Thyme, Oregano and Marjoram (diluted of course). I applied the oils morning and evening with the roll-on applicator, and my pain was literally gone in less than 2 months.
3. I used Immunition for the inflammation of the bulging area around the slipped disc and Lavender to take the swelling down. I believe the Immunition activates the macrophages. When I could, I applied the oils, and then I held an ice pack on the area for 15 minutes at least once a day for several days. Once the inflammation decreased, the muscles could relax and the disc slipped into place. It seems I'm healed. [HEO's Comment: The term "slipped disc" is an informal name for "spinal disc herniation."]
4. My husband lifted something he shouldn't have at work and herniated a disc. He was in excruciating pain and could hardly get around. I applied Strength to his tail bone and sciatic nerve area. Then I used Pain-X in the same way and also down his affected leg. After resting, he could get around a little better. I applied again before bedtime, and by the next day he was 50% better. He was able to return to work for light duty on the third day and within a week of nightly applications, he was good as new.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 2016, page 78-80.