Bone spurs are a quiet condition that’s usually found by accident. Under certain circumstances, they can become painful and debilitating. Fortunately, we have natural remedies that can help. There are some great essential oils for bone spurs out there, of which I’ll be talking in more depth.
Further down this post, you’ll be reading about:
- How aromatic oils work and why they’re a good natural alternative to medicines.
- Some of the best essential oils that could help you get rid of bone spurs and pain without surgery. With pros and cons to know what to expect while following such treatment.
- How to use Aromatherapy oils for bone spur relief.
- A couple of general blend recipes that may help you feel better.
- Answers to a few common questions about bone spurs and Aromatherapy remedies.
- Details about bone spurs in the neck and heels, and a blend to soothe each.
Best Essential Oils for Bone Spurs and Blend Recipes
In medical terms, bone spurs are also known as osteophytes. They are small calcium deposits that look outgrown. Bone spurs usually form where bones meet, in the joints. You will find out more about them as we go deeper into the subject.
Most bone spurs don’t cause a real problem, but sometimes, they can pinch a nerve or press on it. That causes pain, numbness, tingling and other such symptoms.
Conventional treatment includes anti-inflammatory pills, correctional devices and even steroid injections to relieve pain.
The treatment is based on the location of the bone spurs and the way they affect your health. Are the affected joints just inflamed or swollen? Or are they causing loss of motion? These aspects are very important for a doctor to know to give you the right treatment.
Luckily, we have options and alternatives to medicines. In Aromatherapy, they’re known as essential oils. These essences are concentrated plant extracts, with many health benefits.
Aromatic oils are extracted via steam distillation from plant parts like leaves, bark, resin, etc. They contain only the true essence of the plant. It’s the same essence that helps the plant regenerate and survive.
The best essential oils for bone spurs need to be great:
- Anti-inflammatory agents.
- Analgesic (pain relieving).
- Relaxant agents, to promote sleep and relaxation.
- Diuretics (promote water and toxin elimination). Water and other fluids retention can contribute to the poor joint movement.
- Acid dissolvers. The excessive acid produced by the body in certain areas may increase bone formation and calcium deposits. I haven’t yet found any proof that essential oils could help dissolve bone spurs. But, as you can see, it can be prevented by other pathways.
- Cortisone mimics. For the most severe joint and nerve pain types, doctors recommend cortisone injections. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance that can relieve pain and decrease inflammation.
Luckily, we have quite a lot of essential oils that mimic the effects of cortisone.
Their tiny active molecules penetrate the tissue and get to where the inflammation is. They will also get into the blood through the capillaries and travel to where they’re needed. Once inhaled, these molecules can pass through the blood barrier of the brain.
Thus, an aromatic oil can affect the nervous and limbic systems. It can also improve mood or induce sleep among others. This is their mechanism of action, as researchers know it up until today.
Cortisone shots have many side effects and are very painful. They should not be chosen as a remedy so lightly, neither should they be abused. Cortisone shots can damage nerves and raise blood sugar.
They can also cause the thinning of injected tissue and infected joint. Cortisone can also cause the thinning or even death of the bone near the injection site.
Unlike cortisone shots though, cortisone-like essential oils are less powerful. Yet, they are very effective and present almost no side effects. However, their long-term use and large amounts may be harmful.
Essential oils that are very good for bone spurs are:
- Wintergreen, Juniper berry, and Peppermint.
I will tell you exactly why, but I will give you other suggestions as well. There are many others that can help with the inflammation and pain too.
1) Wintergreen Essential Oil
Botanical name: Gaultheria fragrantissima.
- Wintergreen is one of the best essential oils for bone spurs. It is very high in methyl salicylate, which acts very much like aspirin. Wintergreen is among the first options for relieving pain and inflammation naturally.
- This aromatic oil can also improve the blood flow in the affected joint. This is very important as blood delivers oxygen and nutrients, necessary for regeneration. Because of this effect, it can also warm the area where it’s applied.
- Wintergreen is also a muscle relaxant. That could take some of the pressure off the swollen joint.
- It can reduce the pain by numbing the affected nerves. It basically inhibits their inflammatory response.
- Avoid the use of Wintergreen essential oil for bone spurs if you’re allergic to aspirin.
- Use it only in small doses and short periods of time.
- Don’t ever combine Wintergreen oil with anticoagulant drugs.
- If there’s a risk of hematoma, hemorrhage or ulcer in the bone spur-affected area, avoid the oil.
Why I like it:
Even though it smells a bit medicinal, Wintergreen still has a sweet smell. It combines great with other anti-inflammatory essential oils for bone spur blends. It can be used for all other joint and muscle problems.
2) Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Botanical name: Juniperus communis.
- Another great essential oil for bone spurs, Juniper has anti-rheumatism effects too.
- The oil has cortisone-like effects. This means it can decrease the inflammation and pain. It can also protect the integrity of the nerves.
- Juniper is also a diuretic, which makes it a great essential oil for edema too. In other words, it can help eliminate excess fluids and toxins.
- The oil can also help dissolve uric acid crystals in the joints. They are one of the causes of pain and inflammation.
- Juniper can also make the blood more fluid, being useful for hemorrhoids and spider veins.
- Juniper oil must be used on a short-term and in small doses.
- Avoid its use completely if you also suffer from breast cancer. Or other cancer forms like in the ovaries, uterus or prostate.
- It may affect the kidneys’ function and induce seizures.
- Asthmatics should also avoid Juniper berry oil.
Why I like it:
Juniper berry has a sweet balsamic scent, which makes very nice blends. It can also lift up the mood and improve focus. This oil is also recommended in anti-cellulite treatments. It can, of course, be used for heel and neck spurs too.
3) Peppermint Essential Oil
Botanical name: Mentha piperita.
- This essential oil is great for heel spurs, neck spurs and all other bone spurs in general. It is a very good pain reliever because of its high content of menthol. Once applied to an inflamed and warm area, it has a cooling effect. Thus, nerve damage caused by bone spurs can be soothed with Peppermint.
- The oil can relax the muscles and decrease the inflammation too.
- It’s uplifting, fresh and stimulant to the senses and body.
- Peppermint has hormone-like and estrogen-like effects, which means it can regulate periods. This makes the oil not recommended to people that are already on hormonal treatment.
- It is prohibited to people that are prone to seizures or epilepsy.
- Those with asthma should always talk to their doctor first.
- It can be very toxic to the liver and kidneys, especially if used in large amounts and ingested!
Why I like it:
Peppermint essential oil is great for rheumatism and osteoarthritis. It also improves the digestion and controls the production of acids in the body. This implicitly leads to the prevention of calcium deposits in the joints.
Other Good Essential Oils for Bone Spurs:
- Birch (also high in methyl salicylate like Wintergreen)
- German & Roman Chamomile.
- Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Bay Laurel.
Cortisone-Like Essential Oils for Bone Spurs:
- Black Spruce.
- Eucalyptus (Smithii & Globulus).
- Green & Red Myrtle.
- Sweet Marjoram.
- Green Mandarin.
- Sweet Orange.
- Black Pepper.
- Rosemary (ct. Cineole & verbenone).
- Balsam Fir.
- Douglas Fir.
- Tea Tree.
- Thyme (ct. Thujanol & thymol).
All these cortisone-like essences are good anti-inflammatory and pain relievers too! They should not be used by people that depend on cortisone or take similar drugs.
Be careful though! I’ve found information that vitamin E and zinc have the potential to weaken the effects of corticosteroids. Cortisone is a corticosteroid. In the presence of the two, the oils may have a weaker effect.
- All Aromatherapy oils must be tested for allergies. Mix a drop of EO with a carrier and apply on the inner forearm. Watch it for a few hours, for any kind of bad skin reaction.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women must pay special attention to essential oils. They should never use them without their doctor’s approval.
- They’re not recommended to babies and children without medical guidance either.
- If you suffer from any kind of condition, talk to your doctor! Essential oils may interact with certain drugs, vitamins, minerals, etc.
- And above all, never take aromatic oils internally! Especially not without your doctor’s approval. Some of them (e.g.: Peppermint and Wintergreen) may cause serious toxicity to the body. In high doses, they can even become life-threatening.
How long will it take to get rid of bone spurs?
Once formed, bone spurs don’t normally go away on their own. They can stay in a joint for years without bothering your motion in any way.
When they pinch a nerve or swell the tissue and press on nerves, they can cause problems. Natural bone spurs treatment may last between 2 – 3 weeks and months in a row.
As you can see, it may take a long time to get rid of bone spurs without surgery. But I believe the effort is well worth it.
Bone spurs can grow back after surgery and you can’t undergo one every time the spurs bother you. So, learning how to avoid calcium deposits in joints and soothing inflammation with essential oils is much more rewarding.
How to Use Essential Oils for Bone Spurs
One of the safest ways to use Aromatherapy oils is topical. Applied directly to the skin, the oil molecules will absorb relatively fast. They will then travel toward the inflamed and painful area.
Unfortunately, skin applications ensure that only 5 – 10% of the oil molecules go into the body. Even so, since their effect is localized, it’s stronger too.
The only method with a high enough rate of absorption is inhalation/diffusion. This rate can be anything between 50- 70%. Diffusing anti-inflammatory essential oils can also help. But the effect will not be localized.
For an anti-inflammatory essential oil blend, mix 9 drops of EO with 1 Oz carrier oil. Apply with circular motions on the affected area, avoiding the nerves if possible. Also, if you suffer from spider or varicose veins in that area, do not massage directly onto them.
Other ways to enjoy the beneficial effects of Aromatherapy:
- Aromatic baths – 15 drops of essential oils (EOs) per cup of salt. Add this mixture to hot bath water and relax.
- Foot baths – Mix a few drops of EO with some shower gel or salt with warm water and soak your bony heel spurs in it.
General Blends for Bone Spurs Relief
Essential oils can be very useful in the natural treatment of bone spurs. They can:
- Improve blood circulation and speed up recovery.
- Decrease inflammation.
- Decrease pain by mimicking the effects of cortisone. This is very helpful and doesn’t come with all those nasty side effects either.
- Relax muscles and avoid contractions that may put further pressure on nerves.
- Control acid production in the body and prevent further calcium deposits.
- Help with the fluid retention that causes a poor range of motion.
That being said, I have a couple of anti-inflammatory massage blends for you to try on bone spurs. They are more general, being used in all situations. Later on, I’ll give you a few recipes for neck and heel spurs too.
Pain Reliever Recipe for Bone Spurs
- Wintergreen essential oil: 4 drops
- Juniper Berry essential oil: 5 drops
- Arnica oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Massage a few drops of the blend into the affected area. Repeat 2 – 3 times a day or more often, when the pain is more intense.
Bone Spur Natural Remedy Recipe
- Peppermint essential oil: 3 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 3 drops
- Balsam Fir essential oil: 4 drops
- Black Seed oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Give the blend a good shake before each use and apply a small amount to the painful area. Massage gently with circular motions, a few times a day.
Questions and Answers about Bone Spurs and Aromatherapy
From what I’ve gathered, there are many questions about bone spurs and natural remedies. I will try to answer them as best as I can, so there’ll be no confusion after you’ve finished the article.
a) What is a bone spur and how do you treat it?
Bone spurs are bony outgrowths that occur in the joints, where the bones meet. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) differentiates between bone spurs and tumors.
A bone spur is not a sign of cancer. Though, there are some benign (non-cancerous) bone tumors that form in the shoulder or knee cartilage. They are known as osteochondroma and may be confused with bone spurs.
A bone spur may be removed only by surgery. However, that should be your last option as it can be very painful and demanding. Surgery is not a guarantee that the bone spurs will not grow back.
The best remedy is to learn to prevent calcium deposits and keep your joints protected.
b) How do you get a bone spur?
One of the most common causes for a bone spur is local inflammation. When a joint is inflamed and it stays so for a longer time, it stimulates bone-forming cells. These cells will then start producing more bone in the affected area. They will look like bony outgrowths, known to us as bone spurs.
A bone spur can’t go away on its own. Once grown, the bone can only be removed surgically.
c) Can you dissolve bone spurs?
I haven’t found any reliable proof that says essential oils can dissolve bone spurs. Essential oils can help you manage symptoms and maybe prevent calcium deposits. But they can’t be used solely to dissolve bone spurs.
I have also read in many sources that one could dissolve bone spurs with vinegar. I wanted research-based proof of its potential at least. Unfortunately, scientists don’t know for sure whether vinegar can alter calcium absorption.
On the contrary, in their few tests, they’ve discovered the opposite. They observed that white vinegar actually enhanced calcium absorption and retention.
Another small experiment involved placing calcium tablets in vinegar. It did show the vinegar was able to disintegrate calcium. Inside the body, however, the situation is different. It is so because of the many chemical reactions.
Bone spurs can be corrected with mechanical devices.
- Cushioning pads,
- And shoe inserts, can all help to stop the bone spur from growing.
d) How many types of bone spurs are there?
Bone spurs can be found in almost all the joints:
- Soles of the feet.
Knee and shoulder bone spurs are congenital. They’re called osteochondromas.
Besides inflammation, osteoarthritis is another common cause of bone spur formation. When these bony outgrowths touch nerves, they can cause numbness, pain, and tingle sensations.
Most of the times though, joint problems affect the natural movement. Other bone spurs don’t cause any symptom. That makes their discovery totally accidental.
If the swelling and pain become more intense after a few days of natural remedies, you should see your doctor. Essential oils for bone spurs are usually effective at dealing with both symptoms. This means that if they continue or worsen, something might be very wrong.
These are all common questions about bone spurs and natural remedies. If you have something to add, don’t hesitate to make use of the comments section.
Bone Spurs in Neck, Natural Treatment
Our spine is made of 33 individual vertebrae (bones). It is divided into 5 categories and neck vertebrae are the first category. They’re also known as cervical vertebrae. Naturally, calcium deposits can form there too and cause neck bone spurs.
A degenerating disc or an inflamed ligament may be the cause for this type of bone spurs.
The neck also has the greatest range of motion, so you can imagine how painful bone spurs would be there.
Luckily, using essential oils for bone spurs in the neck can relieve a big part of the pain and inflammation.
Also called osteophytes, neck bone spurs symptoms can be treated or improved with the help of homeopathy too. Aromatherapy, however, can stimulate a lot more senses and cause more beneficial reactions.
It is important to see a doctor right away if the symptoms don’t lessen within a few days.
Some of the best aromatic oils you could use for natural neck pain relief are:
- Roman Chamomile
Keep in mind though, that the oils will be very close to all your senses and brain. So use small doses and inhale deeply. That will improve your mood and strengthen the immune system. Aromatherapy can protect from respiratory infections too, among others.
Bone Spurs in Neck Natural Treatment Recipe
- Wintergreen essential oil: 2 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 3 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 3 drops
- Arnica oil: 2 tablespoons
- A roll-on bottle
Massage the painful area without pressing on the spurs and vertebrae. Repeat 2 – 5 times a day, depending on the intensity of the pain.
Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar would not be of much help with bone spurs in the neck. There isn’t much proof that it can actually make bone spurs dissolve and disappear.
Bone Spurs in Heels
Most of the times, heel bone spurs are very painful and debilitating. Other times, they don’t cause any symptoms at all. But they have the potential of affecting daily activities and a person’s social or personal life.
Calcium deposits in heels are not rare. They may spread toward the arch of the sole. Half of those with plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs.
Some of the best essential oils for heel spurs are:
- Sweet Orange
The soles are highly absorbent and you’ll need to use small amounts of essential oils for bone spurs. Always dilute them before application!
Heel Spur Treatment Natural Remedy
- Rosemary essential oil: 3 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 3 drops
- Juniper essential oil: 2 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Apply to the affected area and massage gently. Put on socks to maintain the skin warm. Warmth plus anti-inflammatory essential oils can result in great pain relief.
It’s a very good thing that bone spurs don’t always cause symptoms. It’s also good to know why and where they form. If you know you have joint problems, then you know you have to prevent calcium excess.
Applying soothing, anti-inflammatory essential oils for bone spurs can do your joints and ligaments a lot of good. This would work great as a means of prevention too.
What is your natural way of dealing with bone spurs? Have you tried Aromatherapy oils yet, and if so, how did you feel afterward?