Most adults suffer from back pain at least once in their life. To prevent unwanted side effects, consider using these herbal remedies instead of pain medications to help manage your back pain.
Causes Of Back Pain
Whilst not typically a serious condition, approximately 80% of people in US suffer from back pain at least once in their lives, making it one of the most common medical complaints. Associated causes vary depending on the location of the pain: lower back pain is often linked to bad posture, arthritis, and muscle or ligament strains, whilst pain in the upper back may be related to spine inflammation, tumors in the chest, or disorders involving the aorta.
It is important to note that pharmaceutical drugs – which can have unwanted side effects – are not the only options to treat your back pain. Although research into more natural remedies is still in its early phases, they are thought to be highly effective in treating mild cases of lower back pain in particular. Consider trying one of the following seven herbal remedies:
Used extensively in Asian cuisines, Turmeric is renowned for its powerful healing properties for treating bacterial and inflammatory conditions. Likewise, this spice can also be used to relieve heartburn and pain from arthritis. It is so useful because of the presence of a chemical known as curcumin, which is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. For treating your back pain, add a quarter of a teaspoon to each meal of the day. Alternatively, add it to hot milk and drink this mixture twice daily.
Note: Avoid long-term use or high doses of turmeric, as this can lead to indigestion. If you are suffering from any gall bladder diseases, do not use turmeric for treating back pain.
2. Devil’s Claw
This herb derives its name from the ‘claws’ that grow out of the fruit of this plant. The tribes of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa have been propounding the healing powers of this plant for centuries. One study reported that more than 50% of people with low back pain or osteoarthritis who consumed devil’s claw experienced better mobility and less pain after a period of eight weeks. Although this proves that it may be effective in managing lower back pain, there is still a need for more research.
Note: Do not take Devil’s Claw if you are pregnant, suffer from intestinal or stomach ulcers, or have gallstones.
One of the most widely used home remedies for treating back pain, ginger is renowned for its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Kiefer, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, explains, “Though more studies are needed, ginger extract may help with joint and muscle pain because it contains phytochemicals, which help stop inflammation.” You can use ginger in various ways to treat your back pain, such as by grating it into food or tea. It can also be used topically: grind a piece of ginger and apply the paste directly to the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes before cleansing with warm water.
Note: Because of its anticoagulant nature, tThis herb is not recommended for pregnant women, or people suffering from hemophilia, ulcers, high blood pressure, diabetes, and gallstones.
4. Dong Quai
Native to China amongst other countries, Dong Quai has exceptional medicinal properties. Belonging to the celery family, mainly the root of the plant is useful. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this herb was used extensively in the past for the treatment of back pain. The author of ‘Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth’, Sharol Tilgner, explains, “This herb is a very powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic agent. These properties make it very beneficial in the treatment of back pain.” Dong Quai also helps boost the circulation of blood throughout your body.
Note: It is advised that you do not use this herb in large quantities for a long period of time. Dong Quai is not recommended for pregnant women and people with bleeding disorders.
5. Licorice Root
This herb is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce both and inflammation in your back. Try ingesting licorice root in the form of tea: simply boil a cup of water with 2 teaspoons of the dried root for about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and let it cool before drinking.
Note: Avoid licorice root if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, or glaucoma.
6. Valerian Root
Stress is very counterproductive for your back pain: caused by an inability to relax, the muscles become increasingly tight and more painful. Valerian root help reduce stress by reducing nerve sensitivity – it is essentially a natural tranquilizer. You can choose to consume the root in the form of a tea, but it is not particularly tasty! Alternatively, try consuming it in capsule form.
Note: Some of the side effects associated with the use of valerian root are an upset stomach, headache, dry mouth, and strange dreams.
7. Prickly Ash
Although native to China, Pricky Ash is now used worldwide. This herb boosts blood flow throughout the body, and has been found to be effective in treating leg pain and back pain simply because it boosts the flow of blood to these areas. You can ingest this herb in the form of supplements, or you can apply it topically to the back.
Note: Remember to consult with your doctor before you start using this remedy – especially if you are on pain medications.
Use these herbal remedies only after consulting your local healthcare professional. If back pain persists for more than two weeks after using these herbal remedies, it is advised that you seek further medical attention as soon as possible.
The Health Digest