Last updated on March 27th, 2019

Best Oils, Salves & Creams for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can have many causes but if you have eliminated all major reasons you may be left with how to best manage the pain. Many people look to medicated oils to help relieve shoulder pain. Some oils offer health benefits just by themselves but there are ways to boost the effects by adding essential oils (which are not oils in the technical sense), plants, or herbs. This article focuses on non-synthetic, natural, time-tested, in some cases lab tested ingredients to use in an oil or salve for shoulder pain. Always consult your health practitioner before use.

Oil base

The best oils to use act as a carrier for other ingredients and in themselves have soothing properties. Be sure to use the best quality oil. We recommend Banyan Botanicals for their years in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine as well as their commitment to quality products.

Sesame – A natural source of vitamin E complex that absorbs into the skin. It’s a “warm” oil which means its grounding and calming. In Ayurvedic Medicine it’s used often for pain as it calms the “wind” element often associated with shoulder pain.

Sunflower – Balancing nature. Sunflower oil is emollient, hydrating, nourishing, and glides smoothly over the skin without leaving an oily build-up. A great carrier oil as an inexpensive option.

Coconut – It’s a “cooling” oil, so it lifts the heat from the body. Ayurveda would suggest this is good for people with lots of overall heat in their body. Not as grounding as sesame but still a great carrier without the sesame smell.


The best salves are either plant, coconut, or propolis based. Here is a partial list of what the David Suzuki Foundation recommends avoiding. You can see full list here:

  1. BHA and BHT
  2. Coal tar dyes
  3. DEA-realated ingredients
  4. Dibutly phthalate
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  6. Parabens

Active Ingredients

Whether you choose an oil or salve, the product you are buying (unless you make it yourself) will list “active ingredients”. These are the components of the product that are suppose to have the greatest effect on shoulder pain. Here is a list of some of the most popular ingredients you may find:

  • Basil
  • Boswelia
  • Camphor
  • Cannabidiol or CBD
  • Capsicum
  • Eucalyptus
  • Menthol
  • Peppermint

Ideas for oils, oil blends or salves to buy

If you are looking to make your own blend: Banyan Botanicals.

For a great sesame based herbal blend: Herbs for Ever’s – Flexin Oil.

For a trusted salve containing CBD: Endoca – Hemp Salve.

Here’s a list of high quality CBD creams and salves with discount coupons:

Receptra Naturals

Coupon code for 10% off your purchase: RECEPTRACBD10

Mana Botanicals

Coupon code for 10% off your purchase: MANA10

Sagely Naturals

Coupon code for 10% off your purchase: SAGELY10

More articles on Shoulder Pain:

Part 1 – Fixing Shoulder Pain with Stretches

Part 2 – Fixing Shoulder Pain with Exercises

Part 3 – Fixing Shoulder pain with Therapies

Shoulder Pain and Posture

Dr. Paul Paez, DC, NRT, NET, CMT

National Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), trained in clinical nutrition (NRT), neuro-emotional release (NET), and Massage Therapy (CMT). Dr. Paul holds the rare triple distinction of Certified Posture Expert, Certified Posture Neurologist and Certified Posture Ergonomist by the American Posture Institute. Posture Possible is the very best resource for posture information.