Lower back pain
Having worked in the healthcare field for the last 15+ years, I’ve seen many people suffering from acute or chronic back pain. Frankly, dealing with back pain issues can be crippling. It can wipe you of any motivation to accomplish ‘simple’ daily tasks and leave you in a heap of frustration.
For some, the pain is so severe that only steroid injections and/or surgery can rectify the underlying cause. However, in many cases, the pain can be managed with natural methods that won’t produce harmful side effects. Therefore, I’d like to share with you a few natural herbal alternatives that may help dull or even free you of the pain altogether.
Disclaimer – ongoing back pain (greater than 3 months) should not be taken lightly and should be checked out by a medical professional. More serious conditions (examples kidney infections or slipped discs) could be manifesting as back pain and need to be treated accordingly. In addition, consult your physician first before utilizing any of these herbs if you take other prescribed medications.
Herbal remedies for lower back pain are up-and-coming for people seeking more natural methods. However, research into herbal treatments is still in its initial research stages, therefore, requires some caution when implementing as your treatment plan.
If you’re anything like my husband, he prefers ‘the hotter the better’ when spicing up his food. Hence, the herb, capsaicin, which originates from the hot Chile pepper may be a favorable option. It comes in a cream form and according to webmd.com, “it works by decreasing a certain natural substance in your body (substance P) that helps pass pain signals to the brain.”
Next, is the infamous herb, ginger which has phytochemicals responsible for impeding inflammation. In fact, webmd.com suggests that “daily consumption of raw or heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury,” per write researcher Christopher D. Black.
Another herb you may be familiar with is turmeric (a common dark yellow spice used for food seasoning). It’s in the same classification as ginger and has similar anti-inflammatory qualities. Not to mention, “unlike aspirin or ibuprofen, turmeric‘s cur cumin reduces inflammation naturally, without damaging the liver or kidneys. It has been found especially helpful in treating conditions like arthritis, sports injuries, irritable bowel syndrome, Chrone’s disease, tendonitis, and various autoimmune diseases,” per losethebackpain.com.
The next herb has quite the catchy name, devil’s claw. What’s more, it gets its name from its appearance complete with hooks and barbs. However, don’t let that stop you from utilizing the herb, devil’s claw for back pain. In fact, its main element is known as harpagoside and has the ability to relieve pain. Not to mention, universityhealthnews.com makes mention that “the devil’s claw extract has effectively reduced low back pain improving mobility in numerous studies, and there is evidence that it may be as effective as conventionally used drug treatments for this type of pain.”
As strange as it sounds, the herb, feverfew, may help with back pain. Fortunately, this natural back pain remedy has not been shown to cause any worrisome side effects. In addition, it’s an age-old remedy that dates back 100+ years as a way to treat common aches and pains to include belly aches, headaches, and oral pain.
Known as “Indian frankincense,” the next herb is boswellia which is a product of the boswellia tree. In an experiment, study recipients who typically suffered from multiple headaches in a short time period, noticed a decline in their headache occurrence after using this herb.
White willow bark
Another ancient back pain remedy is known as white willow bark. This herb was widely used during the age of Hippocrates (400BC) by having the sick nibble on the bark in order to break their fever and decrease inflammation. As stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “the bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin and in combination with the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds (flavonoids), salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb.”
- Capsaicin – comes in creams of 0.025%, 0.075%, and 0.1% and should be applied to area of pain 3 – 4 times/day
- Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated)/day
- Turmeric – 2 teaspoons/day (add black pepper extract for increased absorption)
- Devil’s claw – 50 – 60mg containing harpagoside/day
- Feverfew – 50 – 150mg of powder 1 time/day. Not to exceed 4 months of use.
- Boswellia – 300 – 500mg orally 2 – 3 times/day
- White willow bark – may drink as a tea or take in capsule form (120 – 240 milligrams/day)
Herbs with possible side effects
- Turmeric – Refrain from using if have a gallbladder condition.
- Devil’s claw – Do not use if taking blood thinners. May cause mild GI issues.
- Feverfew – If pregnant, should avoid.
- Please read the product packaging for any possible side effects that may be concerning to you, but take comfort in knowing that the side affects are milder with natural methods.
So there you have an explanation on treating lower back pain naturally. Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of treating lower back naturally with herbs.
Bhatia, J. (2016). Herbal Remedies for Natural Pain Relief. [online] EverydayHealth.com. Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/natural-pain-remedies.aspx [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].
Staff, U. (2015). Devil’s Claw Benefits for Back Pain. [online] University Health News. Available at: https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/pain/devils-claw-benefits-for-back-pain/ [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2015). Willow bark. [online] Available at: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/willow-bark [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].
Warner, J. (2010). Ginger May Soothe Aching Muscles. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20100920/ginger-may-soothe-aching-muscles [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].
Webmd.com. (2017). Capsaicin Cream. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4181/capsaicin-topical/details [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].
Wiley, M. (2017). Turmeric Can Be a Powerful Anti Inflammatory. [online] LOSETHEBACKPAIN.COM. Available at: https://www.losethebackpain.com/turmeric-anti-inflammatory/ [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].