If you’ve ever suffered from lower back pain, you know how debilitating this condition can be! Would it surprise you to learn that your chances of developing back pain during a lifetime are as high as 85%? Treatment of this painful condition can be difficult since many of the prescription medications used to treat lower back pain have significant side effects. Fortunately, studies have shown certain herbal supplements to be effective in treating acute episodes of back pain.
A natural approach to the treatment of lower back pain may be just what the doctor ordered. Previously prescription anti-inflammatory drugs were used as the primary treatment modality for lower back pain. Unfortunately, several of the anti-inflammatories were removed from the market recently due to serious side effects. The most well publicized was the removal of Vioxx from the market due to its possible negative effect on the heart. Evidence that herbal medications may improve debilitating back pain symptoms couldn’t have come at a better time!
Which herbs have been found to be most effective for treating back pain? Three herbal supplements stand out as being effective when used for short term treatment These include Devil’s claw, willow bark, and capsaicin.
Probably the most impressive improvements in back pain symptoms were seen with use of devil’s claw. Two high quality experimental trials showed a daily dose of this herb was equivalent to a low dose of a common anti-inflammatory medication known as rofecoxib. Similar results were also seen with white willow bark, although these trials were not as high in quality as the trials using devil’s claw.
Three trials that investigated the use of capsaicin to treat lower back pain showed it was better than placebo although the trials were of low quality. Interestingly enough, capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers. Just one more reason to enjoy a steaming bowl of red hot chili!
Even though these treatments may reduce some of the painful effects of lower back pain, they should be used under the supervision of a competent medical doctor. Just because herbal supplements are natural doesn’t mean they’re without side effects. Some of them can interact with other supplements and medications and can prolong bleeding times which causes the blood to take longer to clot. Also, these supplements may not be effective enough in all cases to completely eliminate the use of prescriptions and other modalities to treat lower back pain.
These supplements can give you another option to use in treatment of your lower back pain and are generally considered to be safe if taken at appropriate doses. If you want to go the natural route in treatment of your lower back pain and your doctor agrees, why not give one of these supplements a try? Here’s hoping it’ll reduce your back pain symptoms and get you back on your feet!