Muscle Cramps or Spasms

senior-with-neck-pain-300x199Muscle cramps are involuntary contractions (tightening) of muscles. A common type of muscle cramp happens in the calf muscle of the leg and is called by some a charley horse. Muscle cramps are usually caused by over exercising, dehydration, lack of key nutrients, and/or nerve irritation. Some cramps occur without any obvious or known cause such as night cramps (nocturnal cramps, rest cramps). Night cramps are more common in older adults.

Besides overexercising or dehydration your body be lacking nutrients. Depleted levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium, can result in muscle cramps. These minerals can be depleted because of pregnancy, while taking diuretics, or during dialysis. Injuring a muscle or an irritation to a nerve may also cause muscle cramps. A muscle cramp in the neck can contribute to other pains in the back, shoulders, and arms. Nerve irritation can be caused by stress, injury, or arthritis from aging.

To prevent muscle cramps always stretch before exercising. Also get your mineral nutrients. These include but are not limited to calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Also look to find root causes. Root cause may be many. Some people have said that cramps have resulted from toxins in the body or poor nutrition in general. The body has a way of letting us know that there is something wrong so finding the root issue is important. The root issue may be stress. Stress can irritate nerves and thus cause muscle cramps. There are many great oils for stress. To learn what oils can help with stress click here.

Suggested Oils to Use

Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Marjoram, Oregano, Peppermint

Also consider: Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Roman Chamomile

Suggested Ways to use

Muscle Pain

The most effected and commonly used general-purpose essential oils for muscle pain are Marjoram and Peppermint followed by other essential oils such as Balsam Fir, Basil, Birch, Cypress, Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Silver Fir, Spanish Sage, Vetiver, White Fir, and Wintergreen.

Aches and Pains

If you are achy due to a sickness, fibromyalgia, or connective tissue pain, the following essential oils are most helpful: Birch, Clove, Marjoram, Oregano, and Peppermint followed by Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, White Fir, and Wintergreen. Apply oils with a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc.) over sore muscles. Some oils may be stronger than others. Be sure to dilute oils such as oregano or wintergreen.


Spasms are not usually accompanied with pain. Spasms can be relieved by using Basil, Marjoram and Roman Chamomile. Clary Sage, Cypress, Lavender, and Peppermint can also help. Apply oils mixed with a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc.) over sore muscles.


Whether due to physical stress, or emotional stress, Marjoram is a great common choice. Helichrysum, Lavender, Peppermint, and Roman Chamomile can also.


Lemongrass, Marjoram, and White Fir help with ligament strain. Other essential oils that can help are: Clove, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Vetiver.


Many people have expressed good results from Marjoram and Lavender when reducing inflammation of the tendon.

Making Your Own Oil Blends

Muscular Pain – mix 3 drops Roman Chamomile with 3 drops Lavender. Apply via cold compress (read below).

Inflammation – apply a cold compress (read below) of 3 drops Peppermint and 3 drops Yarrow.

Release a Muscle Spasm – mix 4 drops Cypress, 2 drops Ginger, and 4 drops Sweet Marjoram with 4 teaspoons carrier oil of your choice.

Soothe Aching Muscles – mix 2 drops Lemongrass, 4 drops Ginger, and 4 drops Lavender with 4 teaspoons carrier oil of your choice (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc).

Loosen Tight Muscles – mix 4 drops Lavender, 4 drops Rosemary, and 2 drops of Ginger with 4 teaspoons carrier oil.

Ease Rheumatic Pain – mix 2 drops Lavender, 4 drops Ginger, and 4 drops Silver Fir in 4 teaspoons carrier oil.

Increase Blood Flow – to cool and cramping leg muscles mix 2 drops Ginger, 4 drops Black Pepper, and 4 drops Cinnamon in 4 teaspoons carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc).

Cold Compress

Some injuries may do heal quicker and better with a cold compress. To make a cold compress, add oils to a small bowl of water. Dip a facecloth onto the oils on the surface of the water, and it will be sufficiently diluted. Apply to area of muscle for relief.

search helps: Dystonic cramps, contractures, tetany, tetanic cramps, spasm