It can be tempting and convenient to reach for the pills when it comes to chronic pain, especially in the back. However, strong medication often has its adverse side effects that sometimes outweigh the benefits.
There are numerous natural alternatives when it comes to pain relief that can be worth checking out. For thousands of years, native plants like herbs have been used in aid of relieving bodily pain and discomfort. Let’s take a look at some herbs that can help with chronic back pain.
Ginger is known for its numerous healing properties, including the ability to calm an upset stomach and subside overwhelming feelings of nausea. But recent research has shown that it just might be the perfect remedy for chronic pain issues as well. Another property that ginger has shown promise is inflammation.
While there haven’t been too many studies that can conclusively state how effective ginger is in relieving inflammation, it is known that it has some benefits. The presence of phytochemicals in the ginger extract help with this. The other advantage to taking ginger for back pain is that there are very few side effects when taken in small doses.
Turmeric and Feverfew
Turmeric is one of the spice powerhouses, long known for its healing properties. It has been used to relieve the pain of arthritis and heartburn for centuries and, like ginger, is also known for its inflammatory properties. Turmeric has a chemical called curcumin that has been linked closely with being an anti-inflammatory. While turmeric is harmless in small doses, it is worth noting that consuming too much potentially causes indigestion.
Feverfew is another tried and true herbal remedy for symptoms like chronic back pain. It has been widely used for centuries around issues like headaches, stomachaches, and toothaches. Nowadays, it is known for being used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and migraines – both of which can be caused by back pain. It’s one to try as it hasn’t been associated with any serious side effects. However, if taken in high doses, it can potentially cause canker sores and irritation of the mouth and tongue.
Cayenne and Capsaicin
These two are virtually the same herb – capsaicin is the active ingredient found in Cayenne pepper and other spicy sources that aids in the relief of issues like chronic back pain. There are a couple of ways to apply this herb to help the problem. By ingesting it orally in cayenne pepper, you can relieve symptoms of inflammation and irritation. There are also products available that have derived capsaicin from the chili pepper, which makes it more concentrated and effective. This is then used as a topical cream and can be applied directly to the areas that are most affected. Capsaicin works by slowly draining the body of substance P. Substance P is responsible for the conveying of the pain sensation from the problem area to the central nervous system, so it gets to the core of the problem and works its way out from there.
Devil’s Claw and Cat’s Claw
Devil’s Claw is a South African herb that has also been used for centuries in aid of relieving pain and discomfort of the body. While it might sound similar to Cat’s Claw, it’s actually from a different continent entirely. Devil’s Claw is shown to be useful in helping arthritis and lower back pain, and there are little-known side effects if taken in high doses. Cat’s claw is also effective in improving chronic back pain. From Latin America, Cat’s claw can help with specific back issues like a herniated disc, joint inflammation, and arthritis of the spine.
While prescribed medication can be useful for a small period, they run the risk of long-term effects that can be detrimental to the rest of the body. Medicine tends to mask the pain temporarily so while it might seem like the answer initially, it’s not productive at eradicating the problem entirely. Trying a natural alternative like herbs can not only be beneficial in relieving pain, but they can also work over time to permanently put a dent in the problem.
By Anne Keiley from Free Your Spine
Anne has suffered with back pain for many years, and in 2014 she added to that when she was diagnosed with multiple cervical herniated discs. Anne has managed to navigate a path through her chronic pain using natural medicine and techniques. She believes in finding and dealing with the root cause of pain wherever possible.